Shanghai, China: WeChat, the most popular social communication platform in China, has joined the WGC-HSBC Champions as an Official Partner for the 2018 Championship.
Launched in 2011, WeChat is the most widely used Chinese social media platform. It integrates instant messaging and social entertainment, delivering a mobile digital lifestyle through an easy-to-use app that has already reached over 1.06 billion monthly active user accounts across the world.
This is the WGC-HSBC Champions’ first partnership with a global social media platform and the first on the scale for any World Golf Championships event.
With five of the world’s top six players already confirmed in the field, including world number one Dustin Johnson, number two Justin Rose, four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy and 2018 Major champions Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed, fans will benefit from the experience of a specially created new ‘WeChat Mini-Programme’.
This bespoke application will significantly enhance the spectator experience, allowing fans to gain access to real time tournament information and scores as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes content. WeChat Pay will also be available throughout the Spectator Village to further enrich the digital and onsite experience for spectators.
Already the sponsor of Chinese golf stars Dou Zecheng and Lin Xiyu and two-time European Tour winner Li Haotong, WeChat’s partnership with this globally significant tournament will enhance the content offering in the WeChat eco-system. It will also build stronger relationships with the platform’s users and introduce new overseas users to WeChat’s product philosophy through golf with the view to extending WeChat’s global reach.
The integrated digital and social platform is now available internationally, providing users the chance to engage in real time via instant messaging, photo sharing and games through an easy to use app. In China, this mega-app is home to integrated services, including paying bills, hailing rides and making reservations.
Juliet Zhu, General Manager of WeChat Marketing, said: “Our partnership with a world-renowned event like the WGC-HSBC Champions will enhance the international exposure of WeChat by familiarising more global users with the brand’s attributes through golf’s unique appeal.
“At the same time, we hope that bringing together sports and culture through golf will enable the development of WeChat’s eco-system to become more diverse and vibrant. Through our first foray into sports sponsorships, WeChat is committed to continuing the spirit of sports in forging connections, facilitating communication and building an eco-system for information exchange whilst staying true to its ethos of embracing openness.”
Grant Slack, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Golf Events, IMG, said: “Tencent is one of the most innovative companies in the world and we’re delighted to welcome WeChat as an Official Partner of the tournament. The WGC-HSBC Champions is always looking to innovate and attract new audiences and we are certain that together with WeChat, we will be able to showcase ‘Asia’s Major’, not only to a vast Chinese audience, but also to the global fan base. By bringing new technologies into sports, we will also be able to provide a unique live fan experience at the tournament.”
As part of an on-going initiative to grow the game of golf in China, those aged 18 years and under are eligible to enter the 2018 Championship for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Additional discounts are also available for students and families to ensure the event becomes more accessible for fans.
The event will take place from October 25-28 at Sheshan International Golf Club, designed by Nelson & Haworth Golf Course Architects, an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.