FC Bayern top Chinese social media table… again

Today the Shanghai based digital agency, Mailman Group, released their 5th annual Red Card report. Analysing the top European football team’s digital success in China. Their aim is to provide an independent analysis that empowers teams to make an informed decision on how to improve their China digital strategy.

For many sports organizations, China has become the number one market for fan growth, revenue opportunities, and untapped sponsorship deals. The collision of a highly competitive sports media landscape and a national mandate to bring international sports to China has created the fastest growing sports market in the world.

From the winner

Here’s a look at how well European football performs in China:

  • Bayern Munich is the #1 team on Chinese digital media.
  • Manchester United is the most followed club on Chinese social media.
  • WeChat follower numbers are revealed publicly for the first time ever with 4 clubs reaching over 50,000 followers.
  • China is the #1 country for pre-season fixtures with 10 teams playing exhibition matches and the first International Champions Cup held in Asia.
  • The Bundesliga is the most popular European league on Chinese social media.
  • Three of the top 5 most followed football stars on Twitter, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, still do not have a presence on Weibo.

It will be interesting over the next few years how much the football market grows in China. Recently the Chinese President Xi Jinping, a keen football fan, stated his aim of growing the sport in his country and eventually bidding for World Cup. With Brazilian star Ramires joining Dan Petruscu led Jiangsu Suning this week for a reported £25m, in a league that can boast the likes of Robinho (last season), Paulinho and Asamoah Gyan. There’s no shortage on money in the game.

The slowdown in the Chinese economy may make a few teams think twice before staking too much in growing their fan base in the country. But with European football being so popular there, it is home to a massive population that is still pretty well untapped by all but a few.

The top 10 clubs in the Red Card report can be seen below;


For the full report, click here.

About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 820 posts

Dan is the Founder & CEO of Digital Sport. Can be found at sports industry events and heard every week on the Digital Sport Insider podcast. @DanielMcLaren

You might also like

The seven essentials for achieving successful sports branding

By Daniela McVicker When it comes to sports, great branding is a must. Your brand influences how people see your company or team. It helps you to forge connections with

Live Chat: A New Social Experience in Sports

Article written by John S. Kim, CEO and co-founder of global API company SendBird Social media rose to prominence throughout the world due to its potential for connection. Social channels provided the

Snack Media’s Football Content Campaign’s Review: February

By Mike Constanti This series, in partnership with Snack Media, will look at the best football campaigns from advertising to social media on a monthly basis, as Digital Sport evaluates how