USEUROPEAFRICAASIA中文双语FrançaisHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILEWorldAsia-PacificAmericasEuropeMiddle EastAfricaChina-USChina-EuropeChina-JapanChina-AfricaHome / World / EuropeSoccer now giving basketball a run for its money in China
By Wang Mingjie | China Daily UK | Updated:2017-06-07 16:56Soccer is closing in on basketball, Chinas most popular sport, according to a new report.Manchester Uniteds Wayne Rooney celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Community Shield. [Photo/Agencies] The study, by Brand Finance, a London-based brand valuation consultancy, says soccer is now second in the popularity stakes behind basketball in terms of fan numbers. But the China Fan Research 2017 report notes that soccer fans are already outcompeting basketball fans in terms of their purchasing of merchandise- it said 20 percent of soccer fans buy such branded products.
The findings show Chinese fans are very familiar with the English Premier League and Germanys Bundesliga, with 83 percent and 70 percent, respectively, expressing support. The study found around 61 percent watch soccer on TV and 65 percent watch basketball.
Respondents were asked to pick their five favorite clubs from around the world. Chinas Guangzhou Evergrande was first with 34 percent. Manchester United was second with 31 percent. Man United was the most successful among Europes soccer brands in China, which contributes to its valuation of 1.3 billion pounds ($1.7 billion).
Mark Dreyer, a Beijing-based sports writer who edits the China Sports Insider website, said: “Its important for international observers to distinguish between how fans are defined in China, versus the rest of the world. For example, respondents here have been asked to pick five clubs they like. In the West, most fans would simply pick one, but in China its seen as acceptable to like both Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
Dreyer pointed out that if the Chinese Super League continues to improve – and the Chinese national team also improves – then soccer could become the top sport.
The research found that 88 percent of respondents would like to see more soccer websites and content in their native language, something sports insiders say European clubs should be aware of.
Bayern Munich is the second most popular overseas club in China, with 23 percent of respondents naming it among their favorites. The club opened an office in Shanghai and two soccer schools, in Qingdao and Shenzhen, this year.
Real Madrid is third with a following of 21 percent, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane have been identified as Chinas most popular player and manager respectively.
The fact that Real Madrid falls behind Manchester United and Bayern Munich in many of the metrics shows that the worlds strongest soccer brand is not fully capitalizing on its position, said Andy Moore, Brand Finances insights director.
“The importance of the Chinese market for football is growing and the trend is reflected in the differences in brand value between those clubs that do well in China and those that are only starting to realize the countrys potential,” he said.PhotoSwedens National Day celebrated in StockholmChinese police officers start patrolling four Italian citiesTen moments of Xi-Nazarbayev meetingsPiano project gives New Yorkers chance to playLeading Arab states sever ties with QatarFired factory worker kills five at former Florida workplaceMost Viewed in 24 HoursWeekly PhotoThe world in photos: May 29 – June 4NewsmakerTencent among worlds 100 most valuable brandsEthnic Chinese journalist hailed a hero after tackling terrorists in pubSpecialPresident Xi visits Kazakhstan, attends SCO summitPremier Li visits Germany, Belgium, attends the China-EU Leaders MeetingReporters JournalEducation should be lifelong, and so should the chance to dreamCleaning up water gets a boost from brand new methodChina-JapanPeople are key to peace: former Japan officialChina-USUS sees another side of ChinaChina-EuropeTwo pandas from China greeted in NetherlandsChina-AfricaKenyas economy on track, gathering steamBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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