Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, eight-time national champions, have been seeking new ways to enhance their bond with Chinese fans. With over 19 Official fan organisations now across China, support for the German Club has been growing ever since their first tour of China in 2016.
Dortmund’s relationship with their Chinese fans was demonstrated when in March 2020, 2.9 million fans tuned into an impromptu virtual party following the postponement of their Bundesliga clash with rivals Schalke.
Dortmund CMO Carsten Cramer, said in a statement: “We are overwhelmed by the huge response and engagement of our fans for the very first online fan party. It shows that our fans and football enthusiasts in China are longing for sports interaction these days”.
The Next Stage
Benjamin Wahl, Borussia Dortmund’s head of China, has however highlighted their next goal, which is to sign a Chinese player at an Academy level. “Our scouts have been keeping an eye on youngsters from China. We hope the club can sign a Chinese player in the near future.”
“Signing mature players in their late 20s and 30s is more often for marketing purpose,” said Wahl. “For the sake of the club’s long-term development, we are willing to show more patience and look for young talent from here.”
Hopefully, this will lead to more Chinese football players in Europe, with only one player currently playing in Europe’s top 5 leagues. Wu Lei, the Espanyol striker, who made his debut in the Chinese League aged only 14 years old, is undoubtably one of the best players to have come out of the Chinese League and make it in Europe.