• New market research study suggests Neymar can help PSG brand grow in China
• Neymar is the 3rd most popular footballer in China after Ronaldo and Messi
• Only 1% of Chinese fans place PSG among favourite clubs, showing potential for growth
In Brand Finance’s recently released market research study: Understanding Chinese Football Fans, Neymar was identified as the 3rd most popular player in the country, with 20% of fans identifying him among their favourite players. This number is likely to rise following the media interest that Neymar’s record-breaking transfer from Barcelona to PSG has generated. Currently, only 1% of Chinese fans place PSG within their top 5 teams, which evidences the club’s potential for growth in this key market. English, Spanish, and German clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich have led the way in successful market entries as their popularity and revenues in China continue to increase. However, the French Ligue 1 remains relatively unknown in the country, with only 46% of Chinese fans aware of the league and 23% having watched a game (compared to 83% and 66% for Premier League).
Finn Dowley, Sports Analyst at Brand Finance, commented: “Building on the worldwide media interest generated by the transfer, PSG can use Neymar’s popularity to promote the club internationally. The Brazilian’s native South America is an obvious choice, but PSG should not ignore China, football’s biggest growth market. Neymar’s popularity in the country can help leverage PSG’s brand. The player’s high-profile visit to Shanghai earlier this week on a promotional tour proves his commercial value in China.”
With a brand value of US$1.011 billion, PSG is currently ranked 7th in the Brand Finance Football 50 league table. Neymar’s transfer should bring an increase in merchandise sales and new opportunities for sponsorship deals. Furthermore, with the addition of Brazil’s biggest star, PSG will hope to achieve its ultimate goal of Champions League success and the resulting commercial benefits would further boost the club’s brand value.
Finn Dowley added: “The Qatari investment in PSG has been monumental, propelling the club to the global top 10 in terms of brand value. Neymar’s transfer could be the landmark move that sees the club cement its status as a global heavyweight, both from a sporting and a brand perspective.”