Borussia Dortmund to kick off virtual Asia tour with Tmall launch

Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund will become the first team to benefit from Sportfive's partnership with Bundeling (Photo by Martin Meissner / POOL / AFP)

German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund will launch an official store on Alibaba-owned Chinese ecommerce platform Tmall this Friday, ahead of the start of its virtual summer tour of Asia on Saturday.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the eight-time Bundesliga champions cancelled their planned trip to China and countries in Southeast Asia. Last month, the club announced plans to replace the scheduled tour with a ‘virtual tour’ featuring online events in August.

Tomorrow, the club will launch its Tmall store during an official ‘Tmall Fans Day’. This will feature offline activities including pop-up stores showcasing fan memorabilia and the new jersey at sportswear brand Puma’s flagship store in Shanghai, influencer-led activations and an exclusive Tmall live stream. There will be a fan party in Dortmund hosted by club sponsor Wuerenbacher, the beer brand, that will be streamed live and covered by ‘fan reporters’. There will also be a live stream from the team’s training session including a Q&A with former player Roman Weidenfeller.

The BVB Virtual Asia Tour, which starts on Saturday and will run for 30 days, will consist of a series of online sessions between players and fans, live streams from training sessions and friendly games, and offline events. The club has organised a branded BVB bus to drive around Shanghai, surprising fans by picking them up from home and driving them to work. A show will be live streamed from inside the business, featuring player interactions with fans.

Carsten Cramer, chief marketing officer at Borussia Dortmund​, said: “​We are determined that despite not being able to tour China physically, we will continue our full support to the country and be even more creative, and this approach will allow us new ways to connect with our dedicated and passionate fans. We are 100-per-cent committed to return to China as soon as the situation allows, and we’re very much looking forward to  continuing to build upon a loyal and ever-growing fanbase until then.”

Benjamin Wahl, head of China at Borussia Dortmund, said: “Our goal is that Borussia Dortmund stays the most tangible and most passionate club for our huge, young fanbase in China. Creating interactions with the team, fan activities and a close connection to the club is crucial for BVB.”