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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

USA Sports on Chinese Social Media

The team at Mailman took a look at the presence of major US sports leagues and their individual team presences across Weibo, China’s number one social media channel. Using KAWO technology we compared 5 major sports associations new to Chinese social media: the NFL, UFC, NHL, MLB and MLS, analyzing them against each other as well as the already highly established association, the NBA.

Since the NBA has had a presence on Chinese social media for years longer than the other organizations, we used their success on Weibo as a benchmark to assess how other associations are doing, in addition to analyzing their success to provide insight into how other franchises can become competitive on Chinese social media.

KAWO compiled a list of different statistics to measure involvement on Weibo: the statistics include the number of followers the organization has, the number of mentions, the engagement of the fans (average number of forwards, comments and likes per post) and the number of official accounts (individual teams in the organization on Weibo). By comparing these statistics, as well as interpreting their relationship to each other, we can draw several conclusions regarding what works on Chinese social media, which allows us to analyze trends, and employ the knowledge these interpretations give us to be advantageous for the account.

Since the NBA has been on Weibo so much longer than the other leagues, comparing straight numbers wouldn’t be accurate. Instead, it is more beneficial to analyze the patterns of how the NBA achieved those numbers. The most important pattern to realize is the correlation between the amount of official accounts associated with the league and the amount of followers the league itself has. The majority of NBA teams have an individual official account, which provides for a more integrative experience associated with the sport on Chinese social media by allowing fans to follow more teams and athletes, therefore resulting in more engagement and a larger following.

The foundations have been laid, the market is growing, and some tips to get started are there – all that’s left is the implementation.

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