DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga and Baidu, one of China’s leading Internet companies, are establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership. The cooperation makes the Bundesliga the first European football league to have an official web presence at Baidu. Baidu’s product offering includes not only the largest search engine in China, but also one of the country’s largest communication platforms.
“With this partnership, we will further expand the top position that the Bundesliga holds in China,” says Christian Seifert, Chief Executive of DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga. “We will consistently continue the strategy that we have pursued in recent years – that of directing our efforts to valuable partnerships in the media and digital sectors, and of investing in our product offerings.”
The two partners in the cooperation will drive forward the expansion of digital product offerings for the Bundesliga’s fans, placing the emphasis on premium content in a targeted way, and interlocking this content with other digital product offerings from the Baidu network.
“With a China-wide coverage level of over 97 per cent, as well as the comprehensive product portfolio with numerous social-marketing tools, Baidu is a further important strategic partner for the Bundesliga,” says Susanne Timosci, Director of Interactive Media at DFL, who initiated this cooperation. “As its premium partner, we will provide support to the company in the future, as it implements its ambitious growth goals, from which the Bundesliga also benefits.”
According to “The Red Card 2017,” the renowned study published last week, in the Chinese digital media the Bundesliga is the Number 1 among European football leagues. The study examines the respective footprints that individual leagues and clubs make with regard to the internet, social media, e-commerce and apps. For the approximately 500 million football fans in China, this places the Bundesliga above England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
With 300 million active users per month in 2016 and more than a billion registered users across all platforms, Baidu is the largest search engine in China. It is the country's third-biggest internet group, behind Weibo and Alibaba, and the sixth-biggest in the world. Baidu is much more than just a search engine, however; the company has a market capitalisation of 60 billion Euro. Tieba, which is powered by Baidu, is China's biggest communication platform. In this forum, which is based on the use of key words, like-minded people can chat about a wide range of topics. For example, anyone interested in the Bundesliga would only need to type "Bundesliga" into Baidu or Tieba, and they will be redirected to the "Bundesliga Bar", where they can connect with other Bundesliga fans and read their posts.