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Chelsea FC Expands Presence In China With Weibo Partnership

C
helsea FC has become the first Premier League club to agree to a strategic partnership deal with Chinese social media platform, Weibo.

As part of the partnership, Chelsea will look to utilise the Weibo platform to deliver new and exclusive original content for fans in China.

To help fuel that content drive, Chelsea have stationed a Chinese fan reporter at their Cobham training ground to enable them to film regular content specifically for China.

The club has also launched Chelsea FC China TV, a regular weekday local video series that features current squad members, past players, key opinion leaders (KOLs) and lifestyle features.

Chelsea FC chief executive, Guy Laurence, said: “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.”

“Through this strategic partnership with Weibo, we will be able to grow our offering of original and China-specific content across the country.

“Chelsea is an innovative and digital-first club which is always looking at new ways to bridge the gap with our Chinese fans and reach out to new ones.

“Last season Chelsea was the fastest growing football club on social media in China, and this season we will continue to grow, and we’re confident this partnership with Weibo will help support this mission,” he said.

Sina Sports general manager, Zhan Sheng, said: “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,” he said.

Chelsea have delivered six live online digital fan events during the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving a growing 58 million views.