English Premier League team Manchester United announced on July 10 it has finally launched Twitter and Sina Weibo accounts to engage fans.
The Twitter account @ManUtd will initially roll out to the club's English-reading fans on the microblogging site before foreign language versions are added at a later, as-of-yet unconfirmed date. The Chinese language Sina Weibo account (www.weibo.com/manchesterunited) will reach fans of the club on the Chinese social network.
With an increased interest in Premier League Football in Asia, English clubs are making the region a priority in their pre-season tours. Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Sunderland will meet South China, the 2012/13 season champions of the Hong Kong First Division, in the Barclays Asia Trophy, a four-team knock-out competition held on Wednesday, July 24 and Saturday, July 27; and Manchester United is also visiting Hong Kong this summer, though not as part of the Barclays Asia Trophy.
After opening on July 10, Manchester United's Sina Weibo page had well over 40,000 fans and the club's Twitter account had in excess of 160,000 followers.
According to social media aggregator Starcount.com , which tracks 11 of the world's social media networks, the most popular football teams in the world are Spain's Real Madrid, Spain's Barcelona, England's Chelsea, Italy's AC Milan and England's Manchester City.