For a Spanish-based club, FC Barcelona is surprisingly popular in Asia. Despite the fact that most Asian countries are very active in soccer/football, somehow, Barcelona managed to capture their attention.
The Blaugrana is so popular that many Asian countries with access to 線上體育博彩 place bets on the team whenever they play. It’s a great way to increase your involvement in the game and have an extra bit of fun.
Just how popular is Barca in Asia, and how did they do it? Let’s find out.
How did FC Barcelona get started in Asia?
Barcelona’s positioning in Asia has been an intentional one. They opened an office in Hong Kong in 2013 and it wasn’t long before they set their eyes on other Asian countries such as China, Japan and Indonesia.
It also helped that La Liga sold exclusive broadcasting rights of their games to Facebook, focusing on the South Asian region. Facebook then provided viewers free access to all La Liga matches, as long as they watched them on the platform. That gave teams like FC Barcelona even more exposure to what was deemed an “untapped market” at the time.
With such a well-planned expansion, Barca’s influence in Asia kept increasing, even overtaking their rivals Real Madrid in major markets such as China.
Why did FC Barcelona want to capture the Asian market?
Even though Blaugrana has cornered the European and (to some extent) American markets, Asia remained untapped to them for years. As the home to two of the world’s most populous countries and numerous other potential markets, an expansion to Asia seemed inevitable.
Look at India as an example. When Facebook acquired exclusive rights to La Liga games in 2018, India alone accounted for over 250 million Facebook users. And although not all of those users will watch a football match on the platform, most did. Add in the viewership numbers for other South Asian countries, and it quickly proves itself as a valuable market.
And considering China’s strict internet rules and the Chinese people’s voracious appetite for social activity, Barca also saw an opportunity there. The club created an account on the social media platform Weibo and the video platform Douyin, allowing fans to interact with them directly. The fast growth of their followers on each platform proves their popularity among the Chinese.
What is FC Barcelona’s strategy for the Asian market?
Barcelona’s marketing strategy for Asia combines exposure and fan interaction. For example, the club opened an experience museum in Hainan, China, allowing visitors to feel as if they were involved. Barca has also partnered with prominent Asian brands such as Rakuten for sponsorship, often featuring their names in more visible spots.
And most importantly, Barcelona has partnered with key Asian celebrities to help promote their brand. What better way to bring awareness to a foreign entity than to have a familiar face bring it to mainstream audiences? It’s easier for people to accept a brand when someone they know brings it to their attention, and FC Barcelona is well aware of that.