The Greater Western Sydney GIANTS have become the first AFL club to launch on Chinese social media.
The GIANTS have created a club account on Weibo, one of the largest social networking sites in the world used by more than 500 million people.
The GIANTS have teamed up with the Shanghai-based Mailman Group which has created Weibo accounts for some of the biggest sporting clubs in the world including Liverpool and Manchester United.Chief Executive David Matthews said the GIANTS wanted to broaden its appeal as part of its commitment to diversity and growing the game in new markets.
"We know there a large number of Chinese communities across Australia with over 125,000 Chinese people currently living in Sydney alone and we need to reflect the diverse community we live in," he said.
"Through Weibo hopefully we can introduce them to our game but also learn more about them and how we can grow the game.
The CEO of Mailman Andrew Collins said: "The fabric of the Australian fan has changed and like many people who come to Australia, the Chinese are eager to experience AFL football. Launching on Chinese social media will give the GIANTS a great platform to begin engaging with this community."
Chinese-born Australian Jamie Pi, who commentated the first ever game in China between Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions in 2010, welcomed the initiative.Pi helped found the Southern Dragons, a predominantly Asian AFL team playing in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.
"This is a big opportunity for Australian football to take the game to a new and powerful audience. As a migrant, Australian football helped connect me to this country but also make many friends with people from a wide range of backgrounds," he said.
To help launch the GIANTS’ Weibo page the club is giving away 10 double passes to its game against Melbourne at Spotless Stadium on Sunday, April 6.
To enter the competition, simply find the GIANTS on Weibo and follow the prompts - http://weibo.com/gwsgiants