PSG, Marseille celebrate Chinese New Year with Mandarin-lettered shirts
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille, rivals on the pitch, are united off it this weekend as the pair lead French football's recognition of the Chinese New Year.
Ahead of their clash at Parc des Princes with Strasbourg on Saturday, the Ligue 1 leaders used the LED display to wish their 1.3 million Chinese fans enjoyable celebrations and then put on a choreographed dance display at the Boulogne end of the stadium.
PSG then took to the pitch in shirts decorated in Mandarin for the first time in a tribute to their growing army of followers via social media, such as WeChat, Weibo and Maopai -- all Asian market platforms where Les Parisiens are present.
Marseille are taking one step further and as well as having their shirts named and numbered in Mandarin for the clash with Bordeaux at Stade Velodrome on Sunday, amid a number of prematch activities, they have also invited some special guests.
Chinese dignitaries Jun Zhai, the Chinese ambassador to France, and Liying Zhu, the Chinese Consul in Marseille, as well as other representatives from the business world will be in attendance.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.