Celtic social media move sees club move within reach of La Liga and Ligue 1 giants

By Euan Davidson

August 11, 2021

Celtic and their Japanese social media efforts are paying dividends.

Already, the club’s Japanese language Twitter account launched last month has gained close to 20k followers [Celtic FC JPN]. With interest in European football consistently high in Japan, other big clubs have made similar efforts.

Inter Milan, for example, started their account in 2014, and boast 30k followers. At the time, the Serie A champions had Yuto Nagatomo on their team.

Paris Saint-Germain, who announced the signing of Lionel Messi yesterday, have 34.3k followers. Their Japanese-language account opened in 2019. Chelsea, meanwhile, have a more established Japanese following, with 58,300 people following their Japanese Twitter account. Liverpool can top that, with 61.2k.

The hunger for European football content in Japan has expanded with further coverage of the game in the Far East. Signings help, too; as we’ve seen with Manchester United and Shinji Kagawa, Inter Milan with Nagatomo.

In more recent years, Takefusa Kubo and Hiroki Abe joining Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, has built further interest in El Clasico [Ganassa]. The European Club twitter rankings as recent as last month are available on Ganassa.

Thomas Henry and a new dawn for Celtic transfers

Thomas Henry and a new dawn for Celtic transfers

In Germany, plenty of Japanese players ply their trade. That means clubs like Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund have a following in the country.

Celtic move to engage with Japanese social media audiences is paying off

To say that Celtic expected some kind of major economic boost from signing Kyogo Furuhashi, or that it’d rake the club in millions is misguided. The novelty of Japanese players in Europe just isn’t there any more. Players of countless nationalities have enjoyed success in the continent for generations.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

However, in terms of audience building, or indeed rebuilding, it’s a smart move. It opens up permanent channels of communication between Glasgow and East Asia. J-League fans get to see in more detail how one of their star players is getting on, direct from the club he plays for.

The hiring of Ange Postecoglou, too, is significant here. As a beloved manager in the J-League, there’ll be plenty of interest to see how he does in the next stage of his career.

In the future, perhaps, there’ll be scope for pre-season tours in Japan, with the hope of continuing to find talent from East Asia, and building brand Celtic in Japanese markets.

That’s a long way off though. Until then, it’s something that can be seen as a good move; why wouldn’t the club want to expand its reach globally?

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