For the next three years, Kunlun Mountain snow mountain mineral water will be the official partner of World Snooker. The Kunlunshan team interviewed World Snooker tournament director Mike Ganley to find out more about the growth of snooker…
What efforts have been made by World Snooker in order to make this sport better known by more people?
Increasing high quality tournaments. When starting to promote snooker in China five or six years ago, we focused on how to develop and gain ground. Since cooperating with the China Billiards & Snooker Association, we have set up a schools programme, carried out training and cultivated coaches and referees. And now, a preliminary framework has been formed in China, providing an example for other countries around the world. In addition to regular professional tournaments worldwide, we have also held amateur snooker matches. For example, at 2016 World Snooker China Championship, we also held amateur snooker matches in 32 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, with a total prize money as high as 300,000 yuan. It was estimated that more than 1,000 clubs and over 3,000 amateur snooker players attended the matches, thus greatly increasing the snooker awareness, participation and attention for the sport.
Inviting some globally well-known athletes as snooker promotion ambassadors for example, Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, who are well-known to Chinese people, have acted as our snooker promotional ambassadors. We hope to popularize the snooker sport with the help of their individual achievements and influence.
Cooperating with well-known brands Some well-known brands that have fixed consumer groups and high level audiences match very well with snooker target audience. For example, we have reached a strategic cooperation agreement with Kunlun Mountain Mineral Water this year. For the next three years, Kunlun Mountain’s snow mountain mineral water will be the official partner of World Snooker and provide high quality snow mountain mineral water for our players. In the United Kingdom Snooker Championship starting on Nov. 22, we have seen the appearance of Kunlun Mountain. We are helping to promote Kunlun Mountain as the best Chinese mineral water brand, and we also hope to make use of its brand influence to promote the development of snooker in China.
What standards does World Snooker use to select a partner? What is new and significant about your cooperation with Kunlun Mountains?
Strictly selecting a partner Snooker is a high-end sport that attracts world-wide attention and World Snooker has not only strictly controlled the tournament requirements but also attached great important to the physical and mental health of participating athletes. World Snooker is very cautious about selecting the water used for the events. For years, we had been seeking for a brand of truly high quality drinking water that could both satisfy athlete needs and match snooker high-end international matches until we began to know and understand the brand of Kunlun Mountains! As the leading brand of high-end drinking water, Kunlun Mountains Snow Mountain Mineral Water, a recipient of the “Golden Prize of Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Contest”, is precious water from 6,000 meter high Kunlun Snow Mountain and can bring high quality water drinking experience for every snooker player, media and audience.
Joining hands with Kunlun Mountains to promote snooker Kunlun Mountains Snow Mountain Mineral Water signed a strategic cooperation agreement with World Snooker this May to become an official partner of the World Snooker for the next three seasons and to assist in the promotion of snooker sport in China. We hope to make more people aware of the sport’s brand proposition as the “gentlemen’s sport” through the platform of Kunlun Mountains, e.g. providing the entrance tickets for the four major tournaments to Chinese snooker fans through a series of event promotion activities.
Liang Wenbo is the “Kunlun Mountains World Snooker Image Ambassador”. What do you think of him?
Liang Wenbo is an amazing snooker player and has achieved wonderful success throughout his career to date. His win to make him the champion at the English Open has ranked him among the world’s best players. He is still very young and we expect he will have more wonderful performances. He is a strong ambassador for the snooker and we hope his personal charm will help make more Chinese people love snooker sport.
Chinese well-known snooker athletes, such as Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, have made more Chinese young people pay attention to snooker and if well-known enterprises such as Kunlun Mountains are of active significance to the promotion of snooker. What is your view on this?
Snooker’s cooperation with Kunlun Mountains is a win-win cooperation. As one of the four “aristocratic” sports, snooker promotes a high-end, elegant and healthy sport concept. Also, as the top brand of Chinese high-end drinking water, Kunlun Mountains Snow Mountain Mineral Water advocates the concept of healthy drinking water and is determined to become the world best mineral water. It is based on the convergence of high-end quality and health concept that both parties have reached cooperation.
Providing energy for athletes As I know, Kunlun Mountains has sponsored China Tennis Open for six consecutive years and has rich history of supporting events. Kunlun Mountains signed a strategic cooperation agreement with World Snooker this May to become an official partner of the World Snooker. It will provide the best mineral water for global athletes during match events.
World Snooker has a strategic partnership with only a few brands. Now, you have chosen to cooperate with Kunlun Mountains this time. What do you think characterizes this brand?
Snooker is a high-end gentlemen sport and our partner should not only be able to benefit the athletes but also to have brand proposition which matches our own. It is important that the brand shares our values and assists in the promotion of snooker around the World.
Kunlun Mountains Snow Mountain Mineral Water is rich in a variety of minerals, natural, pure and pollution-free, and can quickly supplement water and minerals after sport, thus ensuring the physical health of athletes. At the same time, Kunlun Mountains brand’s audience is mostly of the elite class in China today who pursue a good quality of life. There is a good brand “fit” between Kunlun Mountain’s mineral water and our sport of snooker.
There are many young people in China who love billiards and snooker. What do you want to say to them?
Snooker is a gentlemanly sport and we advocate fair competition, gentlemanly behaviour and sportsmanship. Paul Hunter once said: “Be yourself in either success or failure and this is very precious to this sport.” We hope that young people will like this sport either as profession or hobby and can overcome challenges and enjoy snooker.