Text |Zhang Bing
From Dalian Barracuda Bay Stadium
Dalian’s climate in early autumn is very pleasant, and no matter how many troubles are swept away under the 20-degree sea breeze. Recently, China Football, which has encountered a lot of troubles, also came to Dalian to have a blow.
As we all know, Dalian is a city of football. If we say that in the past 30 years’ football professionalization in China, both Dongbei Road Primary School, the cradle of international players, and Dalian Shide, the eighth champion, have made football an indelible memory of this city.
Then, in 2023, with the end of the three-year special period, the barracuda Bay Stadium was newly completed, and many games with the China Football Team successfully landed in the new competition cycle. It can be said that football in China has set sail again in this beautiful coastal city.
New stadium, new events
On the evening of September 6th, the iconic "Ocean Blue" light was lit up in the barracuda Bay football field surrounded by the sea on three sides, and the U23 Asian Cup qualifier-the competition between China Olympic Games and U23 in the United Arab Emirates was going on here. Although it wasn’t a weekend, the barracuda Bay Stadium was flooded with nearly 10,000 fans. This is enough to show Dalian people’s enthusiasm for football. In the end, China Olympic Games won a 0-0 draw, and also retained the hope of advancing to the U23 Asian Cup and the Paris Olympic Games.
The barracuda Bay Football Stadium, which was completed at the end of April this year, is quite predestined with China football. On June 16th and 20th, China defeated Myanmar and Palestinian respectively here. These two games are the first "home" appearance of China men’s soccer team after the World Cup Asian Top 40 match against Guam in May 2021. More importantly, these two games also officially kicked off the national football team’s preparations for the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup and the 2026 US-Canada-Mexico World Cup Asian qualifiers.
As you know, since September, the Asian qualifiers for the men’s soccer Paris Olympic Games, the Asian qualifiers for the US-Canada-Mexico World Cup, the Paris Olympic qualifiers for the women’s soccer, etc., which are related to the qualification of China football for the next 3-4 years, will start one after another. Hangzhou Asian Games and Qatar Asian Cup will also come in droves. These games are undoubtedly the most important for the national team, among which there are many battles of focus and revenge between the national football team and South Korea and Thailand.
On the afternoon of September 6th, another meeting, which is very important for the new football competition cycle in China, was also held in Dalian. The organizer of this conference is Forte Bao Company, which owns the exclusive business development rights of seven national name teams under the China Football Association, and the guests are responsible persons from major brands and marketing companies.
For brands, the competitions of these national teams are not only important battles to witness the new long March of China football, but also rare every four years. If you can have the cooperative identity of the national prefix team and the rights and interests of on-site advertising, you can focus on the situation through marketing, and you can reach more circles through mature marketing promotion. Therefore, at this critical time node, the partners who aim to contribute to China football get together.
Specifically, the partners of China Football Association China Team are divided into four grades: chief partner, official senior partner, official partner and official support brand. Among them, the chief partner is exclusive, with core resources such as training suit advertisement, physical display in press conference hall, 3D carpet advertisement, middle circle floor shop, etc. In addition, China women’s national team also has a separate three-level business rights system.
As a new starting point of the four-year cycle of the Men’s Football World Cup, the Top 36 tournament, which opened in November this year, will bring excellent exposure opportunities for partners. First of all, it will have all the commercial rights and interests of three home games. To this end, the China Football Association Team China has also designed a "competition partner" business cooperation package, including a series of rights and interests such as LED display time of 4.5 minutes per game.
New cycle and new image
Not only that, according to the big sports business, at the time of the new competition cycle, the China Football Association China Team is currently planning to rebrand itself, in order to make Team China, which should be the top sports IP in China, glow with its due vitality.
It is reported that Team China will form a brand-new national team value concept and slogan on the field and off the field, and update the brand visual system. In the daily management of the national team, the team entry ceremony and the national team brand concept presentation will be added to enhance the emotional connection between each team member and the national team identity. Rebuild brand values and activate emotional identity with fans.
Facing the external fans and media, Team China will also launch a brand-new brand image propaganda film. We will also coordinate with fans, sponsors, social celebrities and retired players to plan a series of public relations activities to arouse fans’ strong support for China football. And through video vlog, online interaction and other forms to explore the story of model players, strengthen interaction with fans, and output more content that fans care about and love. Gather all the forces that support China football.
In addition, through a series of activities, we will create more active information communication channels with the media and the public, and create an open and transparent brand image of the team. With a combination of boxing, I believe everyone who pays attention to China football will look forward to the new look of China football team.
New situation, new future
According to He Xiaofeng, deputy secretary-general of China Football Association and general manager of Fortebo, when the new cycle comes, Fortebo has also made all-round attempts in online content creation and offline activity planning, so as to help the development of football in China by better serving customers.
In fact, on the evening of September 6, just before the opening of this qualifier, the big sports business was accompanied by the guests and felt the "new attempt" mentioned by General Manager He outside the Barracuda Bay Stadium. Just near the entrance passage for fans, Fortebo has specially set up the official fan activity area for the China Team event, where fans can take photos, print and paint their faces for free. While providing welfare for the fans, China’s team’s major partners made quite effective offline exposure.
In addition, in recent national team competitions, Fortebo also organized systematic offline promotion activities such as family experience day, national team star charity trip, and the second watching scene. For example, when Wang Dalei and Liu Dianzuo returned to their alma mater, Dongbei Road Primary School, they were warmly welcomed by the children and sowed the seeds of football for the children-these activities undoubtedly further activated the fans’ emotional identity with the national team.
On the online, in recent years, Laifutebao has also gained a lot. Its self-operated social media accounts, Football China, China Football Team and China Women’s Football Team, have all settled in major social media platforms, and the number of fans in the whole network has reached more than 10 million. In 2022, China Team, a subsidiary of Fortebo, produced and published more than 4,000 articles to the content matrix, and the number of views exceeded 300 million. The exclusive original official content IP such as "No.12 Tea House" and "She said" has also been well received by fans.
According to the staff of Fortebo, in the past year, Fortebo has also contributed to the linkage of multiple partners in the China Team family in its rich online and offline layout, and successfully created a business closed loop from brand value recognition to multi-scene exposure to brand empowerment …
September 8 coincides with the Millennium season. In the traditional culture of China, this means that the cold air turns to attack, and the four seasons are in constant cycle. In fact, the same is true of football. No matter on or off the court, once it reaches the extreme value, it is time to switch between attack and defense. From this point of view, China football, which has been brought out of order, may be about to usher in a new situation.
Autumn must be the harvest season. Don’t forget that tomorrow, the match between China’s national football team and the Olympic Games will start at the same time in Chengdu and Dalian, two cities that are crazy about football.
Image source: China Futebao Football Industry Development Company