A few years ago investment banker and private equity investor Adam Roseman noticed a surge of Chinese interest in everything Hollywood. Roseman, who was a banker in China at the time, saw that the increasing access to the internet allowed the Chinese to follow western-generated content, especially TV shows, becoming loyal fans of many of the stars of this media. This interest gave Roseman the idea to start a business which brings celebrities from the entertainment and sports industries together with their fans in China. This gave birth to Adam Roseman’s latest venture, FansTang.
FansTang roughly translates as “hall of fans,” and that is what Roseman is creating for the celebrities that he calls to invite them to join his enterprise, at a rate of about one to three new stars each week. As the CEO of FansTang, Roseman not only invites celebrities to become part of his growing service, but educates the actors, actresses and sports heroes about China. He says that he and his team work as “educators of China in Hollywood.”
“I talk to celebrities about why something is what it is in China, why they need to understand the cultural differences, and why they need to appreciate [them],” Roseman said. “It’s a huge part of our business.”
After almost two years, Adam Roseman now heads a 50-man team in three offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Los Angeles. He has signed on over 150 Hollywood stars and sports celebrities. FansTang helps the stars connect with their fans in China through social media platforms and also obtains endorsement deals for his stars from popular mainland China brands.
FansTang has a team which is dedicated to running the celebrities’ Chinese social media accounts. Many of the messages which are posted to Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of a Facebook/Twitter hybrid, are translations from celebrity posts which already appeared in English on their fan pages on Facebook and Twitter. However, Roseman’s team often encourages the celebs to post original, dedicated messages just for their Chinese audience. For instance, American actor Paul Wesley from the Vampire Diaries posted this message straight to Weibo after a devastating flood in Sichuan province in July killed 40 people and left 150 more missing.
“Thoughts and prayers with everyone in Sichuan. Stay strong Sichuan,” Wesley posted. Despite its brevity, many fans said they were moved. “Thank you for thinking about us,” they posted back.
Adam Roseman has used the positive relationship FansTang has nurtured for his clients with valuable endorsement contracts. In July, FansTang announced that it has already negotiated over $20 million worth of endorsement deals in 2013. The contracts range from $100,000 one-month agreements to a few contracts worth several million dollars for multi-year deals.