LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City and Liverpool announced an expansion of their social media presence on Thursday with more local language websites and Twitter accounts to cater for a growing international fan base.
Abu Dhabi-owned City launched 10 new Twitter accounts in addition to existing feeds in English and Arabic to engage with supporters in Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.
City said the accounts will give fans in more than 160 countries access to Manchester City Twitter content in their own language.
"As the Club continues to attract fans from across the world and our global community grows, it's important to find new ways to connect and engage with them in order to build deeper relationships," said Diego Gigliani, the club's director of marketing, media and fan development, in a statement.
"Translating our website into 13 languages was one step on this journey - creating another 10 Twitter accounts is another."
Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre told a business breakfast that his club would be launching an official Chinese website, the Merseysiders' third after ones set up in Indonesia and Thailand earlier in the year.
Liverpool claim to be the world's most digitally engaged soccer club with 34 official social media accounts including 12 in local languages on Twitter.
Ayre said fans were the foundations of the club, wherever they lived, and Liverpool needed to engage with them digitally and in new ways.
"Extending the Liverpool FC brand beyond borders and connecting with our 200 million global fans also makes good commercial sense for the Club and will help us achieve a competitive advantage on and off the field," he said.
"We can create added value for our corporate partners and maximize the international commercial opportunities that benefit everyone at the Club, including the players, coaching staff and the global community of fans across the world."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)