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Club Summary

When Manchester City Football Club were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 they vowed to create a long-lasting legacy. Since the takeover the club has bought 46 new players, which led to their Premier League win in 2012. As part of their expansion plans, the club has now extended its South Stand and wants to continue to increase foreign visitor numbers.

Challenge

We met MCFC at a tourism trade event last year and they spoke to us in detail about their plans for expansion. They sought guidance and advice on how to improve overseas marketing so as to attract more foreign visitors, with a particular focus on increasing visitors from China.

Solution

MCFC already had a trade show booked in Shanghai so needed our advice quickly. They invited us to the Etihad Stadium to learn more about the site itself and to gain a better understanding of what the club has to offer foreign visitors in the form of match day experiences. We used this knowledge to begin a rigorous testing procedure on our select pool of specialised sports translators to determine the most suitable translators to work on the club’s literature. We provided guidance from the start, strongly advising the club of which languages are most suitable for their target markets. For example, having their literature translated into Simplified Chinese rather than Traditional is most appropriate for use in mainland China. MCFC took our language advice on board and decided to ask us to translate and typeset their Stadium & Club Tour brochure from English into Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish. During the typesetting process, we provided further guidance, such as advising their designers how to tweak the original artwork in preparation to be flipped for Arabic. On completion of the guides, the club sent the Chinese, Japanese and Korean brochures to print immediately ready for the trade show. We also recommended that they take Chinese, Japanese and Korean versions of their business cards with them, which we translated and typeset the same day allowing time to have them all printed. The response to the brochures was very positive and MCFC contacted us for more translations. Following on from this, we translated and typeset their Hospitality & Tours literature into Simplified Chinese from which both a print version and digital version were created. This boosted enquiries further and due to the huge increase in business from China, we are now providing the translation of MCFCs 6-weekly newsletter into Chinese.

Results and future plans

MCFC have used analytics to measure exactly how our translations have helped their foreign marketing. As a result of taking the translated Stadium Tour brochures to Shanghai their Stadium Tour has seen a 15% increase in visitors from China and Japan. Furthermore, the translated Hospitality & Tours brochure has generated a 25% increase in ‘Reseller/Match-break’ enquiries resulting in £25,000 of new business for the 2015/2016 season. It is also expected to generate at least a further £75,000 for the 2016/17 season. The first newsletter was released in October 2015 and had a 49% Open Rate. There has been an increase of 1.5% of new subscribers and the club hopes to increase this further with the release of the next translated newsletter. The club’s focus in China has seen an increase in activity and proactive sales with the signing of former player ‘Sun JiHai’ as Brand Ambassador and the Chinese President’s future visit to MCFC, which will generate even more interest in the club. A follow-up visit to China is now scheduled for the New Year and by continuing to translate the monthly newsletter and manuals Manchester City Football Club hope to further increase their turnover for season 2016/2017.

“I would like to say on behalf of myself & Andrew we felt that the translation was done to a very high standard & extremely professional, nothing could be truer; the examples of the work were very high spec & bore striking differences to the work done in-house which we had to resubmit for translation because of the standard.”

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