BLOG | by Edgar Raposo

Bundesliga on tour – China’s favourite German teams

German soccer clubs are heading around the world this close-season. FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund will travel to the States, while VfL Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Mönchengladbach will head in the opposite direction to play games in China.

With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the followings for German clubs in China.

The chart below shows the clubs with the highest levels of awareness in the country (we ask respondents if they have ever heard of a team).

As you can see, more than a third of the population are aware of FC Bayern. That puts them at around the same level as AS Roma and Chelsea – and 12th overall – in the list of global clubs we track in the market.

Awareness of other German clubs is much lower but still at decent levels, given the competition for eyeballs from other football teams, other overseas sports (basketball is particularly popular, for example), and domestic properties.

Now let’s look at the size of the market for German clubs – see the chart above.

As we would always expect, fanbases for these clubs are much lower than awareness of them – but translating awareness into fandom is why these clubs go on tour.

Using our Current Customer metric (which asks respondents if they follow or support a team), Bayern are still out ahead, with the rest of the top five for this metric more or less level-pegging. You will notice that the top five for Awareness is different to the top five for Current Customer.

While the numbers are low in percentage terms, these are still significant audiences in absolute numbers (1.5% equates to more than 20m people, for example).

So apart from other German teams, who are Bundesliga sides competing against for attention in China?

Well, it is worth noting that the market is still pretty open, with no single league dominating the affections of Chinese audiences, as the chart below shows.

Our Current Customer ranking shows that English, Italian and Spanish teams join Guangzhou Evergrande, Beijing Guoan and Shandong Luneng in the top ten best-supported teams in China. The chart shows that, of the top ten best-supported teams in the country, two are from Italy, two from England and two from Spain, with the rest being domestic teams.

Bayern are not far from joining that company, but for other German clubs a trip to China looks like a good investment if they are to begin to rival the country’s most popular teams.

Next time, we’ll look at the data from a US point of view. Are Bayern still the top dogs? And what does the competition look like in America?

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BLOG | by Edgar Raposo

Senior Sales Manager, Germany

Leading industry expert Edgar Raposo is a Senior Sales Manager for  YouGov Sport. He joined to meet the growing client demand for sport and sponsorship research in the German market. Edgar is tasked with introducing YouGov Sport’s pioneering research services and expertise to Germany’s sports industry, including rightsholders, agencies and sponsors.