Port Adelaide Football Club was founded in 1870 and competes in the Australian Football League, the elite league of Australia’s most popular sport.
In 2014, Port Adelaide Football Club made the decision to engage in China. In the beginning, it wished to explore further opportunities beyond the borders of Australia’s highly competitive sporting landscape. China, as a strong economic partner with a booming sports industry, was a natural choice.
From the beginning, Port Adelaide wished to develop a complete engagement strategy: on which respected our character as a football club, but also created awareness and opportunities for Australia and for South Australia. It initially invested in game development and held a series of business lunches in Hong Kong.
In 2015, Port Adelaide started to venture further into mainland China. It understood that a club competing in the AFL – the nation’s most watched and most popular sports league - could assist Chinese companies seeking to further their connection and brand awareness in Australia. Its strategy was assisted by an agreement Port Adelaide helped broker with CCTV, to bring Australia’s favourite game to a large television audience in China.
Port Adelaide’s investment in China began to develop into material partnerships in 2016.
Shanghai CRED became the first major partner of Port Adelaide’s Open to the World Strategy at the beginning of 2016. It was followed by Ausgold as second major partner of the strategy and major sponsor of Shanghai 2017 – the first in-season AFL match to be played outside of Australia and New Zealand.
Cathay Pacific Airlines became a significant support partner at the end of 2016.
Port Adelaide creates further opportunities for its partners in Australia and China through the China Power Club, a business matching platform. In 2017, it will also host an investment attraction forum for Chinese investors in May, and host Australian partners seeking investment at a similar event in November, organised by the powerful Shanghai Entrepreneurs Association.
All the while, Port Adelaide continues to invest in community. We host Chinese international students at each home match at Adelaide Oval, run programs in Chinese schools, and sponsor Team China and the South China Australian Football League.