Jack Ma Returns -- Sponsor Spotlight

Also: Samsung chief to jail; UCI, Santini launch clothing line; presenting sponsor for World Men's Curling Championship

(ATR) The founder of worldwide Olympic sponsor Alibaba is returning to the public eye after dropping out of sight in late October.

Jack Ma appeared in an online conference for school teachers organized by his charitable organization this week.

There’s been no explanation for the reason Ma dropped out of sight three months ago.

Speculation says Ma is taking a low profile after critical comments about the Chinese banking system and government scrutiny of ANT, another company launched by Ma that is China’s largest online payment system.

Samsung Chief to Jail

Samsung vice chairman Jay Lee is now in prison following sentencing this week from the bribery scandal in 2017 that led to the resignation of the President of Korea at the time.

Lee was one of a number of executives from Korean businesses swept up in the corruption scandal involving bribes to Park Geun Hye.

Lee, 52, was formally sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison this week. He had already served about one year of the sentence when he was freed by a court ruling. He was remanded to prison immediately after the court hearing.

Lee is considered the heir to Samsung, South Korea’s biggest company, after the death last year of his father Kun Hee Lee. The elder Lee was responsible for Samsung’s involvement with the Olympics. A worldwide sponsor for nearly 20 years, Samsung provides wireless phones for the Games.

Despite his imprisonment, Lee is still expected to conduct some business behind bars. During his previous imprisonment Lee was allowed to meet with company executives.

UCI, Santini Launch Clothing Line for Cyclists

A new clothing collection in the rainbow colors of the UCI World Championships will be available beginning in March as part of the partnership between the Union Cycliste Internationale and Santini Cycling Wear.

The clothing and accessories, designed for cyclists by the Italian company Santini, will be available beginning in March exclusively in Decathlon shops in Italy, Belgium, Hungary and Switzerland, in a dedicated UCI-Santini corner, as well as via the website of the worldwide sports and leisure retail outlet.

The collection, created in consultation with the UCI, includes a replica of the UCI World Champion’s jersey, a set including a black jersey, shorts and gilet, as well as a range of black and white accessories. All items sport the symbolic rainbow stripes.

"The commercialization of high-quality, attractive and well-priced articles in the rainbow colors, the global symbol of cycling, in a major shop specializing in multisport and leisure, will enable us to reach new categories of bike users. This is in line with our desire to promote cycling more widely as outlined in the UCI’s Agenda 2022 and underlying our `Ride and Smile’ campaign," UCI President David Lappartient said in a statement.

"Ride and Smile", the worldwide effort to promote cycling for all, was launched by the UCI in July 2019.

World Men's Curling Championship Adds Sponsor

New Holland North America will be the presenting sponsor of the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men's Curling Championship 2021 taking place in Calgary, Canada from April 2–11.

The Presenting Sponsorship agreement represents a step up for New Holland North America. A long-time partner of Curling Canada, the company now moves onto the international stage.

"We are delighted to have New Holland on board with the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men's Curling Championship 2021. They have been a supporter of curling in Canada for a number of years and we are grateful that they have chosen to increase that support to include the world men's championship in such an important season,." Kate Caithness, President of the World Curling Federation, said in a statement.

BKT Tires & OK Tire signed on as title sponsors for the event last week.

The World Men's Curling Championship 2021 will feature 14 teams competing for the world title and the initial qualification places in the men's event at Beijing 2022.

Homepage photo: Twitter

Written by Ed Hula and Gerard Farek

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