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With the new Chinese year about to start on February 12, FC Barcelona is sending its best wishes to Chinese fans in the form of a video starring the players Frenkie De Jong, Marc-André ter Stegen, Pedri, Philippe Coutinho and Sergiño Dest. It’s the eighth year in a row that Barça has celebrated the event, also known as the Spring Festival, which this year is welcoming in the year of the Ox.
This festival traditionally involves people travelling all around the country to be at home with their families at such a special time. But because of the Covid-19 pandemic this year, there are a number of limitations on travel, and Barça’s annual message this year carries a theme of closeness. The club’s video is titled ‘All Journeys Lead Home’ and stresses the idea that ‘home’ is much more than a mere destination, and that wherever fans go to celebrate the Spring Festival this year, the Barça family will always be by their side.
The video follows a Barça fan on a trip around the main sights of Shanghai. Before each of them, the youngster is shown playing jianzi, a traditional game in China where the idea is to keep a kind of shuttlecock in the air with the feet or other parts of the body, but never the hands. After visiting all the places, the boy sends the jianzi to the players to see how they get on and each of them accepts the challenge and shows their skill before sending their new year wishes.
As part of the actions being arranged for the Spring Festival, Barça have also announced details of their forthcoming collaboration with Chinese artist Aisin Gioro Hengin, which will be officially presented on the club’s channels on February 11. The painter has produced a piece to celebrate the ties between China and Barcelona. The work combines the traditional style of the Chinese Imperial Court with modern sport-related elements.
FC Barcelona began its Chinese New Year celebrations in early 2021 with the launch of a limited edition series of transport cards featuring the images of Leo Messi, Frenkie De Jong, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Piqué and Marc ter Stegen to accompany Barça fans on their journeys home for the festive season. It was a huge success, with the version that includes all five cards in a collectors’ case selling out just two hours. Barça is the first European football club to forge a deal with Shanghai City Tour Card Development Co, Ltd, to launch a Chinese New year series that can be used to travel all around mainland China.
FC Barcelona has long had a close relationship with China, and the opening of an office in Hong Kong in 2014 further drove its commitment to fans in the Far East, both new and existing, and has helped to develop new associations in the region.
The club is continuing to explore new ways to serve its fans in China and connect to them through its different digital channels, as illustrated by its many social media accounts in the country, which have gathered more than 12million followers. This has also led to a series of major recognitions, such as winning in 2021 and for the second year running the award for the best online club in China, presented by the prestigious sports marketing agency Mailman.
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