Australian Open Targets Chinese Fans via Digital Platforms

By Community | January 16, 2013

In an attempt to capitalise on China’s rapidly growing interest in tennis, Tennis Australia staff are publishing a variety of Australian Open-related content on Chinese digital platforms during the tournament.

The content includes news, photographs, audio, video clips and live scores and is being published on Yuku, Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ. The platforms have millions of users throughout the world’s most populous country, partly because global networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and several major news sites, are blocked.

Coinciding with the emergence of stars such as Li Na— 2011 Australian Open finalist and winner of the 2011 French Open— tennis is starting to take of in China. There are now an estimated 14 million participants nationwide— up from 1 million a generation ago. The game is also very popular among Chinese television viewers.

Tennis Australia Digital and Publishing Manager, Kim Trengove, thinks China is a key territory for the Australian Open’s growth. “We feel that, ‘Hey, this is our region and we’re in the best position to do something.’ We think there’s a big opportunity for us and we’re so much closer to educate.” Trengove said.

The Australian Open will be promoted on Sina Weibo— the Chinese equivalent of Twitter—  and Yuku, a social networking website. Tencent QQ, one of most popular portals in China, has sent four journalists to Melbourne to cover the event.

Tennis Australia has employed Chinese language students from universities in Melbourne to help promote Melbourne Park to China. Are other initiatives include live online scores in Mandarin and creating apps for Chinese tennis fans.

Trengove believes the growth in interest in China is very exciting for the Australian Open. ”It is all a huge unknown, and, having the journalists coming from Beijing, we’re going to learn a lot,” she said. ”There will be a lot more trips to Beijing to understand this market. But for us, this is really where our future is. Not just for the Australian Open but for people playing tennis.”{jcomments on}