Young, fiercely loyal, 48 per cent female – how Borussia Dortmund’s fanbase is helping drive its success in China

17 August 2021

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Photo: PR Dortmund is building a large fanbase in China.

When Covid struck last year Borussia Dortmund became the first football club to deliver a digital fan viewing party in China. The format, suggested by its Nanjing fan club, proved hugely popular, with 2.9 million viewers in China.

BVB has continued to be innovative in China, with a fan event in Beijing marking the final stop on the club’s virtual summer tour ‘09 Days Around The World’ in July.

Benjamin Wahl, Dortmund’s head of China, tells Off The Pitch that it benefits from a young and mostly loyal fanbase in China.

The club reached 3 million Weibo followers in January, and also engages with its fans through its membership programme run via WeChat.

This article is part of a series looking at how European clubs are expanding and engaging with their global fanbases.

Jonathan Dyson dyson@offthepitch.com

As European clubs look to find new ways of engaging with fans in China, Borussia Dortmund continue to set a high bar around what can be achieved in the country.

In July, the club completed its virtual summer tour ‘09 Days Around The World’, combining on-the-ground activities such as stadium tours and store events with virtual fan experiences across nine countries – the USA, Brazil, Poland, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and China – from July 10-18.

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