Flamengo sported jerseys designed to draw the attention of Chinese football fans when the club took on Fluminense in the Rio de Janeiro derby match at the weekend.
Each jersey bears the wearer’s name written in Chinese characters, and a patch marking the Year of the Ox in the Chinese lunar calendar, according to a written statement issued by Flamengo last Friday.
The jerseys were to be worn for the match against Fluminense the next day, which was due to be shown live on television in China, Flamengo says.
The club statement quotes Flamengo Executive Director for Marketing Marcos Senna as saying the jerseys are a manifestation of a wider campaign to publicise the club in mainland China, but that most of the other aspects of the campaign must wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to end.
The statement quotes Flamengo Vice-president for Marketing and Communication Gustavo Oliveira as saying his club aims to achieve greater popularity among Chinese companies and football fans than any other club in Latin America, tapping an important market for the future of football.
Flamengo has gained over 700,000 followers in China since it joined various social media there six months ago, according to the club statement.