SHANGHAI, Sept. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Yum China Holdings, Inc. (the "Company" or "Yum China") (NYSE: YUMC) announced the launch of the KFC 3x3 Basketball Championship 2017 in China. Now in its 14th year, it is expected that more than 430,000 students from over 4,600 schools will take part in the 2017 competition.
Yao Ming, President of the Chinese Basketball Association, launched the event at the official opening ceremony at Tsinghua University High School in Beijing. Yao Ming commented, "3x3 basketball is entering a new phase of explosive growth and the sport has recently been added to the roster for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo. KFC's national competition demonstrates the huge potential of the sport in China and will provide a launching pad for the players of the future."
In 2004, KFC partnered with the Chinese Basketball Association to launch the KFC National 3x3 Youth Basketball Championship, one of the largest corporate-sponsored grassroots sports programs in China. The program started with 48,000 participants from 172 cities. Today, the competition has rapidly evolved to become one of the largest and most influential youth basketball tournaments in the country. In 2016, over 11.2 million people watched the competition's final championship game and closing ceremony online.
"3x3 basketball is a fantastic sport that encourages teamwork and inspires young people to lead active, healthy lifestyles," said Joey Wat, President and Chief Operating Officer, Yum China. "We hope this competition serves as a platform for young emerging basketball players to showcase their amazing skills and realize their dreams."
Yum China and KFC are committed to promoting the importance of balanced, active lifestyles, and the 3x3 basketball competition is a central component of this initiative. Requiring fewer players and a smaller court, the condensed format basketball game is highly accessible and helps to improve the fitness of teenagers across China.
In recent years, the KFC 3x3 Basketball Championship has also helped young basketball players pursue their professional aspirations. Li Haonan, a player from Xinjiang who was on the championship winning team of the 2016 competition, was invited to join the Chinese Olympic Basketball Team's official training roster. He is the first middle school student to be selected to join the national basketball team.
About Yum China Holdings, Inc.
Yum China Holdings, Inc. is a licensee of Yum! Brands in mainland China. It has exclusive rights in mainland China to KFC, China's leading quick-service restaurant brand, Pizza Hut, the leading casual dining restaurant brand in China, and Taco Bell, which opened its first restaurant in China at the end of 2016. Yum China also owns the Little Sheep and East Dawning concepts outright. Yum China is well positioned for growth thanks to its strong competitive position, integration of its brands into Chinese popular culture and consumers' daily lives, expanding geographic footprint in China and existing operational expertise. It has a strong capital position, no external debt and expects to continue growing its system sales and profit by adding new restaurants and through growing same-store sales. Yum China had more than 7,600 restaurants and more than 420,000 employees in over 1,100 cities at the end of May 2017. A new generation of younger consumers who are digitally sophisticated and brand driven are fueling growth in consumption in China. The ongoing growth of the middle class and urban population in China is expected to create the world's largest market for restaurant brands, with Yum China poised to be the market leader.
Yum China Media Contacts:
Forest Liu, Director, Finance Media, at +86 21 2407 7505
Anne Bark, Brunswick Group, at +86 21 6039 6313