Wayne today publishes a special Chinese New Year celebration video filmed at his favourite Chinese restaurant.
The production was shot at Wings Restaurant, and featured three lucky fans sourced from Wayne’s 3.2m Chinese followers on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
The video also included traditional Chinese paper cutting and a lion dance, as well as questions from fans back in China.
Questions posed by fans included asking Wayne about the best player he has ever worked with – and the possibility of forming a pop group with his son Kai!
Wayne said: “It was great to be able to produce some specific content for my fans in China and to learn about Chinese New Year. I recognise I have quite a lot of fans over there so I wanted to do something special to thank them for their support. I really enjoyed it and i’m looking forward to doing more in the future.”
Wayne’s Chinese name was mentioned more than 18m times on Sina Weibo in the past three months, making him one of the most talked about foreign athletes and celebrities in China.
The video was a Red Lantern Digital Media production, in cooperation with Manchester United TV.
Lewis Hannam, managing director of Red Lantern, said: “Wayne is hugely popular in China so it’s great that he took time out to make this bespoke video for China with us.
“Despite the fact it was shot in Manchester we wanted to get fans in China involved too – thus the questions from fans on Weibo, and the chance for fans in China to win a signed pair of his boots.
“This is a great way for Wayne to say thanks to his millions of fans in China for their support – and wish them a happy year of the goat.”
Manchester United are the most popular Premier League team in China, with an estimated 100m fans in the country. This year will be the year of the goat in China, following on from the year of the horse.
Paul Stretford, managing director of Triple S Sports and Entertainment, said: “Wayne’s popularity on social media continues to grow globally, but more specifically his popularity in China is reflected by the interest shown in him. Making an in territory video specific for the country is something we will look at again as a way of thanking his fans personally.”