I am so excited what outputs and experience will provide the cooperation between the WeChat and the WGC-HSBC Champions.
WeChat is more than just another official partner of the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions (25 – 28 October at Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai)!
This cooperation has got a huge impact on golf participation and promotion in China as WeChat is the most popular social communication platform in China.
As part of an ongoing initiative to grow the game of golf in China, those aged 18 years and under are eligible to enter the 2018 Championship for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Additional discounts are also available for students and families to ensure the event becomes more accessible for fans.
Key facts of WeChat
- WeChat has got over 1.1 billion accounts while the second biggest Chinese social media platform Weibo has got “only” 600 million users. Just for the sake of comparison, Pinterest has got cca. 250 million active monthly users while Instagram has got over 1 billion users.
- WeChat is the #5 most popular social networking site in the world.
- In China, if you do not have a WeChat account it is like you don’t have a smartphone.
- It is a male-dominated (67.5%) social networking platform. 31% of Wechat users do their shopping on the app (see WeChat wallet).
- WeChat contributed the employment of 20.3 million persons in 2017.
- WeChat-driven information economy has reached RMB 209.7 billion, making up for 4.7% of China’s total information consumption.
- WeChat makes for an outstanding share of total mobile traffic in China: 34.0%
It is also interesting to know that this is WGC-HSBC Champions’ first partnership with a global social media platform and the first on the scale for any World Golf Championship event.
In a previous post, I have already highlighted the importance of engaging and entertaining golf tournament fans.
This time I can share with you a great solution that will help at least the fans of:
- World No. 1 Dustin Johnson,
- World No.2, Justin Rose,
- four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy and 2018 Major Champions,
- Brooks Koepka,
- Francesco Molinari and
- Patrick Reed.
Through the new ‘WeChat Mini-Program‘ bespoke application, fans will be able to gain access to real-time tournament information and scores as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes content.
So it is not a true facilitator of fan-PGA Tour player relationship, because the fan will not able to talk or chat with any of the above-mentioned PGA Tour players.
Along with this, it is a sign of a certain understanding from the organizers of their customers’ needs and expectations.
Such ‘sub-applications’ enable marketers to provide advanced features to users such as e-commerce, task management, coupons etc. Unfortunately, they are a little bit limited:
- They can’t send out push notifications.
- They can’t be shared on users’ WeChat timeline (called “WeChat moments)
- WeChat mini-programs only work within WeChat (while a traditional web-App work on any browser)
WeChat Pay will also be available throughout the Spectator Village to further enrich the digital and onsite experience for spectators.
If I were the organizer I will not forget to recognize the returning visitors of the event for their loyalty.