The Premier League has become the first of football’s European leagues to launch an app designed exclusively for fans in China.
The Mandarin-language tool will provide access to content tailored for Chinese fans in what the organisation is describing as a “significant development in connecting with fans digitally.”
Currently the Official Premier League shares content via social media channels on Weibo, WeChat and Toutiao, where it has a combined following of almost four million across all platforms.
Commenting on the new initiative, Richard Masters, Premier League managing director, said: “There are millions of passionate Premier League club fans in China and we are always looking at new and exciting ways to engage them.
“We work closely with our broadcast partners and, together with our clubs, have regularly hosted events in China to bring live experiences to supporters. “
“This app provides another way to engage with the Premier League digitally and recognises the commitment of our fans with more and better localised content in Mandarin.”
The app development has been managed by Chinese agencies. Digital media agency Red Lantern oversaw the process and will manage on-going content. The app itself was built by Kingworld.
Lewis Hannam, founder of Red Lantern, commented: “China is a mobile marketplace and this investment by the Premier League is another way to help drive value back to clubs and Chinese broadcasters.
“Rights-holders need to have a bespoke digital strategy for China and the Premier League is at the forefront of that.”
The Premier League official Chinese app will be available to download on both Apple and Android devices.
Fans will be able to access the latest Premier League news, interviews, as well as notifications such as starting line-ups, goal updates and links to Chinese broadcasters showing Premier League matches.
The app will also host the first authoritative Mandarin-language data hub for Premier League statistics from individual players through to clubs.