Newcastle United has launched three new social media accounts in China as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
The club has unveiled official accounts on Sina Weibo, WeChat and Dongqiudi platforms, in an attempt to boost communications and engagement with millions of sports fans across the Far East.
Celebrating their 125thanniversary, the launch coincides with Newcastle United’s new 2017/18 PUMA home kit launch – which carries the Chinese online betting company, FUN88 banding.
Achieving promotion to the Premier League following a season in the Championship, Newcastle United has been the subject of takeover speculation by a Chinese consortium in recent weeks.
They were also named as the fastest growing football club brand in the world in 2017 by industry experts Brand Finance, with 92% growth in the last 12 months.
Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said: “Social media plays a hugely important role in how we engage with supporters, particularly those who are unable to be close to St. James’ Park, so we are pleased to be launching new accounts on Sina Weibo, WeChat and Dongqiudi.
“With a number of existing fan groups in China and a growing presence in the region, both as a Premier League club and now as a partner of FUN88, this is a natural step for us and we look forward to connecting with even more fans and sharing our experiences with them.”
Micro-blogging site Sina Weibo is one of the most visited websites in China; with well over half a billion registered users. It is widely regarded as hybrid of Western social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.
The Magpies’ ‘Weibo’ account will feature a variety of bespoke content, including the best images, video and digital content from the Magpies throughout the 2017/18 Premier League season and beyond.
WeChat is a dynamic micro-messaging app with more than 900m active users – around 90% of whom are based in China.
Newcastle United’s official WeChat account will provide subscribers with a packed feed of the latest news and updates from the club, as well as the use of unique player-based sticker emojis and the potential for a number of additional services.
Dongqiudi, meanwhile, is a popular football-specific social networking app that was established in 2013. The app enables supporters in China to join their own online club community, getting closer to the team despite following from afar.
The three new accounts add to Newcastle United’s growing social media portfolio, with a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (search: nufcofficial) and YouTube – generating a combined following of almost 3.5m people.
The club also launched a brand new website in December 2016.