Last Wednesday, in anticipation of the traditional derby della madonnina and the newly dubbed “Chinese derby” between Milan and Inter, Milan live streamed a Q&A with defender Mattia De Sciglio. The event #AskDesci was presented live on Milan TV, Milan’s facebook page and for the first time, on Weibo, one of the most active and popular social networks in China with over 500 million users.
Many of the major European clubs are actively growing their online presence in China, each with their own Weibo account. Milan has been on Weibo for the past two years and currently have 442,628 followers. This number is expected to grow significantly as the new Chinese owners ramp up their marketing efforts to tap into the growing demand for European football.
According to a press release from Milan, more than 3.5 million users were reached in 46 countries. The average audience age was between 18 and 24 years old. The total views were more than half a million.
On Weibo, the Q&A reached over 256,000 users and generated over 60,000 views. This is a useful platform for Milan to grow its presence, brand exposure and fan base, however to compete with the other clubs Milan has a lot of work to do.
According to Shanghai-based agency Mailman Group, a user of Weibo will follow a club for the following reasons:
- Super Star players: 40%
- League ranking: 26%
- Club’s history: 16%
- Other: 18%
Milan has such a glorious history that despite the lack of championships the past few years, the brand recognition remains strong. However, to capture the interest of the new generation of fans, it will need to start winning again and get some marquee super star players on its roster to keep up with its peers to have a significant social media presence in China.