Chelsea have overtaken Manchester United and Liverpool to become the Premier League club with the biggest online presence in China, according to the Red Card report released this week.
Compiled by digital marketing agency Mailman, the report measures the online performance of European football clubs in China and it saw the Blues rise from seventh place last year to third overall in the latest ranking with Barcelona in top spot and Real Madrid in second place.
Manchester City were the next best Premier League side in fourth after placing ninth last year while Manchester United slipped from third to fifth and Liverpool dropped from sixth to seventh.
In its analysis, the report explained that Chelsea had become the highest ranked Premier League team thanks to a highly effective local video strategy which result in a two-million follower growth on Douyin and 1.3 million new followers on Weibo.
In addition to the excellent growth of our Chinese social media platforms, the club also walked away with two awards during the China Digital Football Awards, which were presented in conjunction with the unveiling of the Red Card report.
The first award for Best Original Video was for the Chelsea Studio Show, an online video production which has attracted a huge audience in China.
‘The Chelsea Studio Show impressed with its dedication and innovation. The Chinese audience is now demanding new original content mediums that are built exclusively for them,’ stated the report.
‘The Chelsea studio show is an interactive, engaging and locally relevant show led by top Chinese hosts with fan leaders. Throughout the year, the club worked with various celebrities and fans from around the country to provide them with a voice.
‘In the first season, which was presented by global partner Yokohama, the 15 episodes delivered over 35.5 million video views, with the second season already underway.’
The second award received by the club was the Weibo Award as Chelsea’s tremendous performance on the highly popular Chinese social media platform was acknowledged.
‘The club experienced a record-breaking year,’ explained the report which pointed out that Chelsea had three times more follower growth on Weibo than Manchester City and Manchester United, and had enjoyed 600,000 total engagement.