Saturday, September 17, 2005

Inter Milan to sport Mandarin sponsor on shirt

Inter Milan are set to wear a shirt with the name of their sponsor written in Mandarin in a Serie A match against Livorno. Inter and Pirelli have reportedly received the green light from the Italian Football League (FIGC) to have the Chinese characters Bu Rui Li (Pirelli in Chinese) on their shirts for the round-7 home tie on 16 October.

"The principal reason for the initiative is to thank the Chinese participants in the current Pirelli workshop in Milan. But with Serie A matches broadcast live to millions of fans in China, the 'Bu Rui Li' idea will be appreciated by Chinese Nerazzurri fans, who in June voted Inter the most-loved team in China in a poll conducted by state broadcaster CCTV, Titan Sports publication Sports Weekly and internet portal Sina.com," the SinoSoc website commented.

According to Inter Milan Diary, the poll listed the most popular foreign football clubs in China in this order: 1. Inter; 2. AC Milan; 3. Juventus; 4. Real Madrid; 5. Manchester United; 6. Arsenal; 7. Barcelona; and 8. Bayern Munich.

The official Inter Milan website generates 18 million page views and attracts 1.4 million unique users per month, of which 220,000 are registered users. "With half of the website’s visitors hailing from outside Italy, it makes sound sense that the site is available in five languages – Italian, English, Spanish, Japanese and Thai," Sport and Technology reported earlier this year, adding that a Chinese-language site is next in line for roll-out when the correct partner is sourced.

“Inter is an extremely popular soccer club in China due to Ronaldo and Baggio having played for us and they are popular players over there,” it quoted Inter Milan’s managing director, Jefferson Slack.

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