The stars are not always the ones we think about. Because no, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé were not the most anticipated players in the press on the occasion of the arrival of the PSG, this Wednesday, in Shenzhen, in the south-east of China. Ander Herrera is the most requested for interviews by Chinese media. The Spanish midfielder, soon 30 years, recruited free this summer, enjoys his past Manchester United player, a resident of the Premier League, the most popular championship in China. The Basque is now part of PSG ambassadors, along with the Parisian stars for the next twelve days, entirely dedicated to the Middle Kingdom.
This is the first time that Paris has settled so long in one country for its summer tour. Last year, it was broken between Singapore and China with already, culminating in the Champions Trophy. This time, the friendly matches and all marketing events (such as the presentation of the new jersey on Thursday) are held in China. "An ambitious club, which has the desire to create a global brand, must have a presence in Asia and China, explains Sebastien Wasels, director of development of the PSG on the Asian continent. It's primordial. We wanted to push the point by insisting on the Chinese market.
"Here we have three-digit growth"
Since the spring of 2018, Paris has indeed created the conditions to successfully conquer the East: an office in Singapore, a first summer tour, three signed partnerships, the last with PINGAN, the largest insurance company Chinese, a second office in Shanghai … All with a reduced on-site workforce compared to competitors like Barça or Manchester City.
"China is one of the key territories. For the second year in a row, we have a three-digit growth, "says Fabien Allègre, director of diversification of the PSG brand. To ensure the best relationship with Chinese fans, the red and blue club is present on all major local social networks. He also uses his marketing strength on the "lifestyle" plan, thanks to the partnership with the Jordan brand. Just like one of its other strengths: eSport. At the end of August, it is under the colors of PSG that a Chinese team will play one of the most important tournaments worldwide video game Dota2 … a battle arena online multiplayer.
In Shanghai, a space "PSG Park" closed its doors
"PSG has a project that is different from other European clubs. We do not speak to almost the same public and this has a real impact, "says Sébastien Wasels. "The ability to understand the local market and the fact of not arriving with a commercial kit ready, saying it's like that and not otherwise, plays a lot, says Fabien Allègre. We are always on tailor-made offers. The question is how do we adapt to countries by keeping the fundamentals?
With China, this factor makes sense. A recreation area, "PSG Park", has closed in Shanghai after a few months of existence. The club wants to take its time to implement, among others, its next "PSG Academy", these training schools for children around the world.