"Crazy engagement numbers": Virtual pre-season tour of China proves to be a success for pioneering Dortmund

28 August 2020

Photo: PA Images "Of course, the physical tour with the first team players is the most interesting for our fans and potential partners here. But we wanted to be able to integrate and activate our partners and still be able to create touchpoints digitally for our fans – the alternative to that was a complete cancellation of the tour," says Dortmund's Shanghai-based international and new business manager Martin Z.H. Zhang.

Dortmund this summer cancelled their pre-season tour of China and instead went digital to keep up engagement with fans in Asia.

Hoping for a repeat, their Shanghai-based international and new business manager speaks to offthepitch.com on the initiative's apparent success.

The club have found Asian fans are much more receptive to virtual events than Western audiences.

International growth with an emphasis on Asia is expected to be the biggest revenue driver within the next five to ten years.

Emil Gjerding Nielson nielson@offthepitch.com

This year, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) is embarking on a different kind of pre-season tour. When it in February became evident that travelling was going to be off the table for a while due to the coronavirus pandemic, the German club cancelled their otherwise scheduled tour of Asia. Or to be more specific, they cancelled the physical part of the tour.

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