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FC Barcelona has retained its title as the ‘Most Popular Club Online in China’ at Red Card 2021 awards for the second year running. Organised by Mailman, a specialist consultant on sports marketing in China, Barça has been recognised for its performance across several digital platforms, including WeChat, Weibo, Douyin and Toutiao, where the Club has amassed almost 12 million followers.
On its 10th year of publication, Mailman has launched this Thursday the ‘Red Card 2021: China Digital Performance Index’, revealing the most influential European Football Clubs, Leagues and Players online in China.
The award reinforces Barça’s continued leadership in the Chinese digital landscape and the Club’s dedication to creating tailored content for its Chinese Culers. To do so, FC Barcelona worked with two Shanghai based communication and marketing agencies that specialise in the Chinese market. It also highlights the consolidation of the Barça brand in this territory, as a result of the club's clear commitment to China as one of its strategic markets in recent years.
Some of the most important projects have included the creation of vblogs in Chinese at key moments of the season, as well as specific content that combine Barça style, philosophy, and values with those inherent to the Chinese culture. Besides, ahead of Chinese New Year, fans throughout the country have been using the Club’s digital channels to share pictures of the recently released Barça branded transportation cards featuring Messi, De Jong, Sergi Roberto and Ter Stegen, that can be used to travel across Mainland China on their journey back home for such an important date.
The Club has also been recognized in the Corporate Social Responsibility category for its ‘Stronger Together’ campaign, launched in February 2020 when the pandemic was making its way through the Asian country. Before the game against Getafe, a canvas was displayed in the centre circle of Camp Nou with the ‘Stronger Together’ motto, while players from both teams took to the pitch accompanied by children from the Dracs Units Xinesos penya wearing a T-shirt, with both 'Stronger Together' and '中国加油 ' ("Be strong, China").
A strong digital presence
FC Barcelona has experienced a significant growth of its online presence on different social networks in China last year. The Club performed particularly well on Douyin, the popular Chinese version of TikTok, where Barça was the most followed football club with the highest engagement in 2020. In particular, the Club has over 3.2 million followers and has registered over 77 million engagements since its official launch in January 2019, and just in 2020 has created 180 short-format videos that have generated over 31 million engagements.
Barça was also the most followed Spanish football club last year on Weibo, with the second highest total engagement amongst all European football clubs, which earned Barça another award for the “Most Influential European Club on New Media” from Sina Weibo platform and the specialized medium ScoreSports (Qiduoduo).
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