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Managing Director, China

Managing Director, China – Major League Baseball

MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.  Major League Baseball is the best-attended sport in North America, and the last decade includes all 10 of the best-attended individual seasons by fans in MLB history, with each regular season eclipsing the 73 million mark. Now led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports.

MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit www.mlb.com.

MLB Development in China

Major League Baseballl (MLB) in China is overseen by Vice President, Asia Pacific, Jim Small. At present, there are approximately 40 staff across a variety of functions, with 8 based in the main office in Beijing, and the consumer product employee based in Shanghai. The remaining staff are based in MLB’s development centres in Changzhou, Nanjing and Wuxi.

Baseball is now played in more than 80 colleges and universities in China, double the number from six years ago, and more than 40 new baseball facilities have been built in the past few years by local governments and individuals. Nearly a billion viewers can now watch Major League Baseball game broadcasts and related TV shows on a national network, China Education Television.

In December 2017, MLB and Beijing Enterprises Real-Estate Group Ltd. (BEREGL), a top Chinese state-owned enterprise, announced a 10-year relationship to grow the sport in China. The new relationship is designed to result in a significant increase in baseball facilities, meeting the country’s growing demand as participation keeps rising.

Having accumulated resources and experiences in participating in the venue construction for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, BEREGL seeks to team with MLB to build nearly two dozen MLB-branded baseball facilities throughout China. Up to 20 of the new projects would be MLB-BEREGL Baseball Development Centers, which would provide world-class facilities for talented Chinese student athletes in grades 7-12, combining a mainstream school curriculum with baseball skills development.

MLB would consult on facility design, field management and operations based on its experiences with creating, managing and renovating baseball fields and facilities around the world.

There is also a growing commercial business across media distribution, partnerships and consumer products for MLB. With this continued investment in China, MLB now seeks an experienced, proactive Managing Director to lead this growth into the future.

Role Summary

Managing Director, MLB China –is a position based in Beijing and will report directly to the VP, Asia Pacific. The job purpose is to guarantee a general overseeing of all MLB China based commercial activities providing local guidance and senior support for a team of 40+ staff working across sponsorships, marketing, communications, merchandising and baseball development, and connecting between partners like BEREGL and MLB to develop business in China and leveraging on MLB brand to provide new opportunities.

Major Responsibilities

Business Development

  • Create and implement yearly and long-term business strategies that build the MLB brand and drive revenues
  • Maintain current and foster new key MLB business and governmental relationships in China
  • Focus on expanding MLB’s media footprint through agreements with leading Chinese media companies
  • Create innovative and profitable marketing partnerships between MLB and key Chinese and international brands
  • Implement an effective marketing and grassroots programming strategy to increase the visibility of the game of baseball and of MLB in China
  • Coordinate with MLB’s consumer products team to support that business
  • Search for other business opportunities that can result in new revenue streams and/or increased brand exposure
  • Broadly speaking, support the MLB global plan to reach the financial and strategic success for the region based on clear, measurable performance metrics

Finance/Legal/Reporting

  • Prepare a yearly operational budget and ensure that the budget is followed throughout the year
  • In cooperation with MLB financial consultants and its finance team in New York, oversee the timely payment of invoices, issuance of revenue invoices, payment of staff payroll, etc.
  • Liaise with MLB’s legal consultants and legal team in New York as required
  • Provide regular updates on China business activities to MLB’s leadership and possibly MLB team owners

Operations

  • Lead a staff of around 40 people located at MLB China’s headquarters in Beijing and development centres in Jiangsu Province
  • Oversee China staff members’ in adherence to MLB’s HR policies

Requirements

  • Proven experience in managing a start-up business across Asia, both from a commercial and from a governance/administration standpoint
  • 15+ years of experience and reputation as a respected and recognized Senior Business Executive with a broad and deep network in the Chinese business community within Sports industry
  • Ability to analyze and translate market/competitive dynamics into business actions
  • Experience of managing third party relationship and of being in charge of a commercial branch office within multinational companies
  • Deep knowledge of local governance law requirements
  • Good understanding of American business culture and the sports industry is preferred
  • Character wise, MLB seeks a proactive self-starter with an entrepreneurial mindset & high energy
  • An inspirational leader with gravitas and a result-oriented and growth-focused individual
  • Undergraduate degree required, Master’s degree preferred
  • Bilingual skills – English and Mandarin – are mandatory pre-requirements to successfully apply for the role

Remuneration

An attractive salary package (base and bonus) commensurate with experience will be offered for the right candidate.

Contact Info

For a confidential discussion please contact:

Ting Zhang, Head of China

M: +86 18911855141 E:tzhang@sriexecutive.com

Zhaolong Liang, Consultant, China

M: +86 17301268683 E:zliang@sriexecutive.com

SRi is the exclusive recruitment partner for this position with MLB.
With offices in China, Singapore, UK, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, USA and Germany, SRi is the leading provider of talent to the global sports industry.

Tagged as: baseball, China, Executive, Managing Director, rights holder

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