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4 Out Of 5 Football Fans From China Purchased Football Merchandise In Last 12 Months

Jack Schiffko

China is a budding market for European football especially when it comes to merchandising revenue. According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites USA, 80% of Chinese football fans bought football merchandise in the past 12 months, compared to just an average of 49.2% from Europe’s ‘Big-5’ footballing countries.

80% Of Football Fans From China Bought Football Merchandise In The Last 12 Months

European football is one of the most lucrative sports industries in the world and it is still expanding in exciting markets such as China. In a May 2021 survey of over 2600 Chinese football fans, 80% indicated to have bought football merchandise in the past 12 months. Notably, this rate is significantly higher when compared to the fan bases of Europe’s ‘Big-5’ footballing countries.

When the same survey of similar sample size was conducted among each of the Big-5 fan bases, only an average of 49.2% indicated having bought football merchandise in the past 12 months. Spain registered the highest rate at 56% while Germany had the lowest at just 44%.

Football T-shirts Most Popular in China; Scarves Still Popular Among European Fans

T-shirts are the most popular football merchandise among fans from China with 42% indicating owning them. Sportswear follows closely behind at 41% while football kits/jersey are the third most owned at 33% or 1 in 3 football fans from China. Notably, T-shirts are also the most popular form of football merchandise in Germany, Italy and the UK.

Common among Europe’s fan bases that is notably absent from China’s top three most owned football merchandise is the scarf. In Spain, it was the most owned piece of football merchandise with 39 or almost 1 in 4 fans owning at least one.

European football’s growing popularity in China is not limited to just avid fans but even just casual fans of football. In the same survey, 6 out of 10 football fans from China indicated owning football merchandise from teams other than their favorite club. In comparison, France recorded the highest rate out of the Big-5 at 47% while the UK registered the lowest rate at just 32%

Covid-19 Football Merchandise

When football returned from its hiatus imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the presence of facemasks became symbolic of the new conditions football faced upon its return. As a result, the birth of the football merchandise face mask segment emerged, perhaps albeit only temporarily.

Spain recorded the highest ownership rate of football merchandise face masks among Europe’s fanbases with 15% indicating owning it. China registered a 12% ownership rate comparable to that of the UK. Notably in the US, 18% of fans indicated owning facemasks as a form of football merchandise.

Rex Pascual, Sports editor at Safe Betting Sites US, commented:

“Football’s global reach presents exciting growth opportunities for what is largely considered as the world’s most-followed sport. China is an exciting market for European football where the biggest football clubs in the world are racing to gain their share of the market. With the world’s second-largest population combined with what the above data shows, it is clear to see why”


Jack Schiffko

Jack has extensive experience in the iGaming industry. After obtaining a degree in History he started his career working as a content manager for an online poker room. For the past six years Jack is an independent writer covering iGaming topics such as sports, bingo and casino news. He regularly posts iGaming news and reviews on sites such as NewBingoSites or on CasinoReviews. In his free time Jack is a decent poker player who plays mostly PLO cash games.