Aussie rules coming to China with plan to stage full-season game in Shanghai

Port Adelaide team up with real estate firm to promote game on mainland

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 11:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 11:15am

Australian Rules football team Port Adelaide plan to stage an AFL premiership match in China next year in a bid to better promote the sport in the Asian nation, the club said on Thursday.

Port Adelaide, the Australian Football League and the club’s new sponsor Shanghai Cred Real Estate signed a memorandum of understanding for the game in China in 2017.

Under the agreement, the parties will also work with China Central Television to broadcast AFL coverage in China and build up social media accounts on WeChat and Weibo.

The agreement follows a multi-million dollar partnership signed this week between Port Adelaide and Shanghai Cred, which will use Port Adelaide to promote the Australian national game in the world’s most populous nation.

“Today is a day that has been the culmination of a lot of hard work and to be honest, a day that many thought would never happen,” Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said at the ceremony in Shanghai.

I have great confidence that once this sport is imported into China, it definitely will gather a huge group of fans
Guo Guojie

“I’m incredibly proud to have a signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the Port Adelaide Football Club that ensures we will do everything possible to play a game for premiership points here in Shanghai as early as next season.”

Shanghai Cred founder Gui Guojie said in a statement: “I have great confidence that once this sport is imported into China, it definitely will gather a huge group of fans and refresh the cultural exchange between China and Australia.

“I strongly believe this moment will be firmly framed in the sports history of our country.”