Chelsea F.C have announced a strategic partnership with Weibo, a Chinese social media platform which records more than 520 million active users per month.
The West London club already have more than eight-million followers and will produce content specifically designed for the Chinese audience. This includes employing a Chinese fan reporter at their Cobham training ground.
To add to the ventures into the Chinese market, Chelsea has also launched Chelsea FC China TV, a regular weekday series that features interviews, discussion, highlights and other football related content.
Chelsea Chief Executive Guy Lawrence was delighted to announce the news, citing the strategic partnership will help the club to build a stronger relationship with its Chinese audience.
“Delivering high quality, quick-to-market content and bringing our Chinese fans closer to the club are two key aims of Chelsea’s China strategy,” he said.
“Through this strategic partnership with Weibo, we will be able to grow our offering of original and China-specific content across the country.”
Chelsea were the fastest-growing European soccer team on Weibo last season, according to an official release. As of the end of August, they were the fourth most followed club on the platform, behind only Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United, who boast more than ten million followers.
Zhan Sheng, General Manager of Sina Sports, the company which owns Weibo, echoed Lawrence’s sentiment.
“Having already successfully worked with Chelsea on a number of projects, Weibo and Chelsea FC will continue to collaborate further. The key areas of our focus moving forward will be on delivering bespoke multimedia content formats, operating fan communities, as well as new and upgraded commercialisation models.”
“Weibo has continued to increase its investment and support in the sports industry since the inception of its vertical sports platform. With an increased impact in the sports industry in recent years, Weibo has now formed a comprehensive ecosystem linking event organisations, clubs, athletes, media, and KOLs. It’s a unique style of social media communication on Weibo which will provide Chelsea FC with the platform to increase fan participation and commercial monetisation.”