Manchester City and Alipay form fan engagement partnership

Premier League club Manchester City has signed an agreement with digital payment firm Alipay to launch a digital ecommerce and experiences portal for its Chinese fanbase.

The agreement is a continuation of the decade-long cooperation between the six-time English top flight champions and Alipay’s Hangzhou-based owner Alibaba.

Past deals between the two saw Manchester City launch an official video homepage on Alibaba’s streaming platform Youko in 2013, which was followed in 2017 with the launch of an official club store on the ecommerce site Tmall International.

The most recent agreement will see the club release a ‘mini programme’ on the Chinese firm’s app – which is said to have over one billion users – offering fans video content, retail products and offers, sign-ups for online and offline events and competitions, with match tickets and football shirts among some of the prizes available. 

CEO of City Football Group China, Scott Munn, remarked: “Manchester City has always been committed to providing our fans all over the world with a high-quality interactive fan experience. 

“Through local related platforms and activities, Manchester City fans will be connected with the club they love. This new cooperation with Alipay will bring China’s Manchester City fans and the club closer through industry-leading digital solutions.”

This is a major expansion of Manchester City’s social media and digital presence in China. The club already operates a Chinese official club website, a ‘Citizen’ fan club, and maintains several social media accounts across China’s various digital platforms.

Outside of the Premier League, Serie A giants Juventus also increased its regional presence in China recently, following an agreement with heating systems provider Aliston.