THE national flag of China will be displayed alongside the Australian flag on Port Adelaide's guernsey this weekend, in celebration of the Power's commitment to the middle kingdom in AFL Multicultural Round.
The full names of each player selected for the Power will be translated into Mandarin characters and displayed on the back of their playing guernseys on Saturday.
Port Adelaide has engaged opportunities in the south of China over the last three years and has established business and sporting connections in Hong Kong and surrounding districts.
The club is the primary sponsor of Team China, which competes with other nations in the triennial AFL International Cup, and also the Southern China AFL competition.
“Over the past couple of years Port Adelaide has made a conscious effort to promote both the club and the AFL competition through Southern China,” Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said on Monday.
“We proudly sponsor both the Chinese national AFL side Team China and the Southern China AFL competition.
“Since 2013 we have regularly held business luncheons at the Hong Kong Football Club, where we have established great relationships and a reciprocal membership arrangement."
Part of the Power's development of the game in China has included the broadcasting of its games with Mandarin commentary via social media platforms, including the hugely popular native Chinese platform WeChat.
The desire to play a game in China has been canvassed by Port Adelaide for some time, and Keith Thomas is hopeful that dream will become a reality in the not-too-distant future.
“This year we have been distributing highlights of our home games with Mandarin commentary and sending these out through key social media platforms both here in Australia and into China," Thomas said.
“And within the next two to three years we’d ideally love to play a game in China either as a pre-season fixture or as a game for premiership points.”
At home, Port Adelaide has worked to develop links with the local Chinese community in Adelaide over the past two years, having hosted international students at home games and helping to introduce them to the most popular game in South Australia.
Thomas says the Multicultural Round Australia-China guernsey is a way of celebrating the connection between the Australian and Chinese expatriate communities.
“Back here in South Australia we have thousands of Chinese international students and we would love to help them assimilate more easily into our culture here in Australia,” Mr Thomas said.
“We feel a good way of doing this is to make them feel part of the Port Adelaide family and our indigenous Australian game.
“This Multicultural Round guernsey is just another way of showing Port Adelaide’s commitment to China and promoting the inclusive nature of our game.”
Port Adelaide plays the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium at 2:10pm (AEST) on Saturday 8 August.