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Manchester City unveil Alipay fan engagement partnership

Fans in China get access to ecommerce and digital experience portal.

25 January 2021 Ed Dixon

Getty Images

  • Alipay app to offer video content, retail products and competitions
  • Payment platform has over 1bn users
  • City also agree deal with Chinese-based Unilumin Sports

English soccer giants Manchester City have partnered with Chinese payment platform Alipay to launch a new one-stop ecommerce and digital experience portal for fans in China.

The tie-up will see the Premier League club have a ‘mini programme’ on the Alipay app, providing video content, an extensive retail offering and competitions, as well as other membership activations.

Alipay claims to have more than one billion users and has been working with City for nearly a decade, with this collaboration representing the latest effort from the club to grow their Chinese fanbase.

As well as operating on a number of China’s social media platforms, in recent years City have opened a soccer school in the country and were the first Premier League team to enter the Chinese esports market.

City have also struck a global partnership with LED displays solutions provider Unilumin Sports.

The deal, which is the Chinese-based firm’s first with a Premier League club, will showcase Unilumin's pitchside LED solutions and create experiences to engage with the company's customers and stakeholders.

City will also explore opportunities to develop their pitchside signage and display infrastructure through Unilumin’s technology and expertise.

In other European soccer news, Spanish champions Real Madrid have struck a regional sports betting partnership with Russian-based operator FonBet.

Running until the end of the 2022/23 season, the deal sees FonBet become Los Blancos’ official betting partner across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.

Over in Italy, Serie A leaders AC Milan have struck a multi-year partnership with Jeeny, the Middle Eastern ride-hailing app. The company, which claims to be the second most popular ride-hailing service in the region, becomes the official on demand transportation partner of AC Milan’s men’s and women’s first team in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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