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West Bromwich Albion Get Social In China

Mon 14th Sep 2015 | Fan Engagement

With the title of being the first European football club to tour China in 1978, West Bromwich Albion makes the delayed return to the nation with the launch of an official Weibo account. 

Albion join a host of Premier League clubs to have entered the Chinese social media market to engage with football fans through localised content and plans to add a WeChat account in the weeks to come.

In addition to the launch of these platforms, the Premier League club have also begun development on a Chinese website. Whilst this is yet to launch fully, there is an initial landing page which can be found at www.westbrom.cn.

West Bromwich Albion are the first Premier League club to partner with Premier League Global Audio Broadcast partner talkSPORT to deliver live Mandarin commentary, sponsored by TLCBET, for all of their Premier League matches this season. This service is free and can be accessed on this page.

Premier League clubs have already managed to amass a following of over 26 million Weibo users. When asked about how West Bromwich Albion plan to compete with the clubs already active in China, Albion’s, Adrian Wright, Sales and Marketing Director, commented;

“The Premier League has an estimated reach to 322 million households in China following the change in broadcast rights for the current season.

“When we compare this with roughly 26 million followers across the Premier League clubs on Weibo we can see that there is still a huge gap in order to satisfy the appetite to engage with Premier League football clubs. 

“Only 8% of that 322 million are currently following a club on that specific social media platform. 

“We don’t see ourselves as competition to our Premier League counterparts anywhere other than on the field of play twice a season, and believe that more Premier League clubs engaging in China and with the highly supportive Chinese audience can only be good for the development of the Premier League, it’s clubs and, most importantly, the development of football in China.”

When asked about whether and what activities West Bromwich Albion will be engaging in to connect with Chinese fans, Mr Wright outlined: “The key driver for launching our social media platforms in China is naturally to engage with Chinese fans and lovers of football.

“To assist our efforts in engaging, we will be providing all Chinese football fans free access to live audio commentary for all West Bromwich Albion matches in the Premier League.

“This will be provided by the Global Audio Broadcast partner of the Premier League, TalkSport and we are the first club to provide this service to China through this media partner.” 

And specifically on the subject of assisting in the development of grassroots football in China Mr Wright added: “We are currently actively seeking to secure strategic and commercial partners in China to help us better understand the market and ultimately support us in assisting in the development of grassroots football in China.”

West Bromwich Albion can be found in China on www.westbrom.cn or www.weibo.com/westbrom

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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