CHELSEA OVERTAKE BOTH MANCHESTER CLUBS TO BECOME PREMIER LEAGUE’S MOST POPULAR CLUB ONLINE IN CHINA

CHELSEA OVERTAKE BOTH MANCHESTER CLUBS TO BECOME PREMIER LEAGUE’S MOST POPULAR CLUB ONLINE IN CHINA
Mailman has officially launched Red Card 2020, ranking the performance of European Football Clubs, Leagues and Players online in China. There are also 10 additional digital awards allowing the report to recognise outstanding performance in a greater range of areas.

SHANGHAI​​, China, 16th January - In its 9th year of publication, the annual Red Card report reveals the most influential European football clubs, leagues, and players online in China. The headline awards were assessed by Mailman’s traditional metrics, and the 10 digital awards were judged by a specifically selected panel of 10 industry experts in China across agencies, broadcasters, media and consultancies. This year also saw the introduction of the Weibo Award and Douyin Award, which were selected by the platforms.  

REPORT WINNERS:

  1. Number One Club Online: ​FC​ ​Barcelona 
  2. Number One League Online: ​Premier League 
  3. Number One Player Online: ​Cristiano Ronaldo   

 

DIGITAL AWARD WINNERS: 

  1. Best Fan Event: ​FC Bayern Munich
  2. Best China Tour: ​Tottenham Hotspur
  3. Best Original Video: ​Chelsea FC 
  4. Best Sponsorship: ​iQIYI 
  5. Best CSR Project: ​AIA 
  6. Best Grassroots Project: ​LaLiga 
  7. Best Use of Influencers: ​Manchester United 
  8. Best Use of Technology: ​Paris Saint-Germain 
  9. Best Use of Design: ​FIFA 
  10. Best Use of Fan Clubs: ​Borussia Dortmund 

 

PLATFORM AWARD WINNERS: 

  1. The Weibo Award: ​Chelsea FC 
  2. Most Viewed Video on Douyin Award: ​Paris Saint-Germain 

 

THE REPORT RANKED THE PERFORMANCE OF OVER 80 EUROPEAN TEAMS. THE TOP FIVE WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

  1. FC Barcelona
  2. Real Madrid 
  3. Chelsea FC
  4. Manchester City
  5. Manchester United / FC Bayern Munich    

 

English Premier League’s Winning Year:  

  1. Most followed football league on Weibo   
  2. Most engaged football league on Weibo - 2x higher than second place  
  3. Surpassed 1 million followers on Douyin - the first football league to do so 
  4. Highest average reads on WeChat - 70% higher than second place 
  5. Most followed league on Toutiao  

 

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters, said​: “To receive this Red Card award for the second year running is a great honour and testament to the Premier League and our clubs’ loyal fanbase in China.   

“We witnessed their passionate support during last year’s successful Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing and Shanghai, something that has been reflected by the growing popularity of ​our​ digital coverage​ in the country.    

“​Through our ​dedicated content team we have delivered innovative and compelling content across key ​platforms such as Douyin and Weibo, ​while the tournament ​itself ​also provided a valuable opportunity to offer promotional support for PP Sports, as we officially launched our broadcast partnership with them. 

“We are committed to developing our digital presence in China and bringing the Premier League closer to millions of fans in the country.”    

 

Barcelona’s Winning Year  

  1. Highest engagement rate on Weibo 
  2. Highest total impressions on Weibo 
  3. Most engaged football club on Douyin 
  4. Launched Barca Academy China Cup 
  5. Renewed OPPO partnership with exclusive smartphone   

 

Dídac Lee, FC Barcelona Board Member​: “We’re delighted to accept the award for Number 1 Club online in China as part of the Red Card awards for 2020. It’s a testament to the effort, teamwork and innovation of all of those involved with FC Barcelona in China. All Barça fans around the world have something in common – a love and passion for the Club, shared values and the way we play football. Our challenge is to create content for China that is bespoke to the ever-evolving digital landscape, culture and habits of this market and we’re proud to be recognised for outstanding fan growth and engagement.”   

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Winning Year 

  1. Most engaged player on Weibo 2.7 million total engagement, 2.5x higher than Messi (2nd) 
  2. Most followed player on Weibo with 6.6 million followers 
  3. Most followed foreign player on Toutiao  
  4. Partnership deals with Seven Brand and Anmuxi   

 

Cristiano Ronaldo​: "I am very pleased with this award. I know that I have a huge part of fans in China and it means a lot  to be on top of the table for the second year in a row. Thank you very much for this, it’s a pleasure to be with you all.”   

 

Andrew Collins, Mailman Group CEO​: “​We saw 100% year-on-year growth in followers on Weibo and a 45% increase in engagement across the world’s biggest teams this past year as football fast becomes more socially relevant and digitally friendly on China’s major platforms. There were 16.3 million new followers on Weibo across the top clubs, with more than 20 teams now engaging their fans on Douyin as digtal continued to explode in China over the past 12 months.”   

 

Methodology​: The online performances were assessed according to eight different metrics. The data analysed was collected between January 1st 2019 - December 31st 2019. The platforms selected for analysis were determined  according to relevance in connecting with Chinese football fans and their popularity in China’s current digital landscape.

The full methodology is available on request. To view the full report, click here

ABOUT MAILMAN

Established in 1999, Mailman is a global sports digital agency and consultancy. Mailman helps the world's leading sports organisations serve their audiences and build their businesses. Headquartered in Shanghai with offices in SE Asia, London, and the United States, Mailman has over 200 experts working across 100+ global sports clients with services spanning digital agency, consulting, commercial and production.                                  

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