Spanish Teams Go Local On Chinese Social Media

By Community | March 8, 2019

Twenty sides from both LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 123 to are set to provide localised content on Sina Weibo, China´s biggest social media platform.

For the first time, LaLiga will generate content and directly manage the Sina Weibo accounts of twelve clubs. It will also provide content strategy and community management to all clubs seeking to broaden their presence in the Asian market.

LaLiga has also become the first European league to launch a mini-programme inside of Tencent’s WeChat, another huge social network in China.

For LaLiga’s Digital Strategy Director Alfredo Bermejo, providing this hands-on digital support is a necessary step to creating the strongest image of LaLiga and Spanish clubs in the region.

“Clubs are the heart of LaLiga. To help grow our presence we must help people to discover the clubs´ stories” he said. “Chinese consumers have shown growing interest in our competition but entering this market can be complex. Our team works closely with all clubs of LaLiga to provide assistance anywhere we can.”

The service is available to all clubs playing in Spain’s top two divisions. Currently LaLiga Santander teams such as Huesca, Levante, Eibar and Celta Vigo and LaLiga 1I2I3 clubs like Osasuna, Numancia, Cadiz, Albacete and Las Palmas are involved in the project. LaLiga has expanded its team of Chinese social media experts to offer the clubs this service.

Daily social media posts will be published by LaLiga on behalf of the clubs alongside significant coverage of match days. Following its ‘glocal’ approach to digital community building, LaLiga will begin by educating these new audiences about the clubs and their rich history in order to build a more engaged and loyal following.

LaLiga will also handle the process and costs involved in having the club accounts secure verified status in China. This will allow clubs to incorporate the new accounts into the popular Blinkfire tool, which provides analysis of all verified social media accounts across all social platforms.

Clubs will also be made aware of significant dates in the Chinese calendar and receive message suggestions to mark those occasions throughout the year.

LaLiga has been a social media resource for clubs for some time. The league’s services include quarterly updates for clubs on the various platforms and best practices. LaLiga also provides assistance with translations, account monitoring, opportunities to interact with notable influencers and expansion into new territories.

The growth of the Spanish league itself on social media in China has been in evidence for the past three years and in recent months LaLiga has added its presence to the Toutiao and Douyin networks. The arrival of star players like Wu Lei to RCD Espanyol de Barcelona also creates significant new opportunities for visibility and growth in 2019.

Offline, LaLiga also holds growing business relationships with the Chinese Football Association and Chinese Super League, among others.

For audiences in China that have shown a continued and ever-increasing interest in football, the launch of additional social media channels, coupled with the opportunity to follow Chinese players in Spain, will create many new opportunities to absorb information from the game in Spain.

The exploration of new platforms and media strategies for both China and beyond is set to continue within LaLiga, giving the clubs playing in the competition even more opportunities to increase their international expansion.

The new WeChat mini-programme is designed to be a central location for Chinese fans to grow their knowledge of Spanish football and share their experiences. By opening the mini-programme, WeChat users can receive current LaLiga news in Chinese, watch videos of classic LaLiga moments and access a ‘LaLiga Experience’ space featuring verified user images and memories from across the stadiums of LaLiga.

LaLiga continues to expand its digital presence in China and opportunities for further growth will be boosted by the signing of Chinese star Wu Lei by RCD Espanyol de Barcelona. Now, all Spanish clubs will have the opportunity to follow the league’s methods and create their own profiles in the country, improving the internationalisation of Spanish football.

To provide increased levels of engagement, the mini-programme allows users to select their favourite LaLiga team on their profile page and receive relevant notifications about match results and news. It will also offer a weekly predictions game with prizes on offer. By browsing through the game week fixtures and guessing the correct score, users can build points that are displayed on a weekly leader board. These points can later be exchanged for official LaLiga merchandise.

Mini-programmes have become a hugely popular feature of WeChat with over one million already created on the app. LaLiga’s presence here is an important part of its plans to improve access to Spanish football in China and to create a stronger following in the country. To help with these efforts, LaLiga broadcasters and sponsors in China will also display their offers through the mini-programme.

The WeChat app has become a one-stop location for Chinese consumers to chat, consume news, book appointments and make payments. LaLiga already has a large brand presence on WeChat, where it provides daily news articles from the league.

To support the launch of the new mini-programme, LaLiga will be creating new posts in the ‘moments’ section of WeChat and providing a QR code to access the mini-programme directly.

Check out some enjoyable examples of LaLiga players communicating with their Chinese fans here.