Manchester United is seeking to bolster its Far East fanbase through a flurry of physical and digital initiatives designed to draw the attention of footloose football fans.
These efforts centre on the preview of a Manchester United Experience Centre in Beijing and a dedicated Chinese language app in a PR blitz designed to engage supporters.
Delivered in partnership with Harves Entertainment the experience centre is located next door to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and is set to fully open in 2020, with a flurry of further such centres then expected to follow in other Chinese cities.
Designed to bring fans closer to Old Trafford without clocking up excessive air miles the Mancunian temple will play host to an interactive experience that includes a full-scale replica of Trinity Statue, a replica players tunnel and changing rooms and an opportunity for visitors to ‘sign’ for the club.
An obligatory merchandise megastore will complete the full complement of attractions, augmented by the aforementioned app which will relay news and videos direct to supporters wherever they may be.
Harves Entertainment chairman Bo Zhang commented: “We share a vision for an engaging and immersive entertainment experience that will allow young people and fans more access to the historic club.
“Most importantly we want to bring families and fans together to have fun and to be entertained.”
Manchester United claims to have 659m followers worldwide, over 100m of whom hail from China, and is targeting further growth through the provision of experiences.