Monday, July 11, 2005

Glasgow's Old Firm told to reach out to Asia

In The Herald (Glasgow), Mark Wilson identifies Asia as the "new battleground for football brands" although "so far, the Glasgow clubs [Rangers and Celtic] have, for the most part, watched from the sidelines" with only Rangers seeking a foothold in China via their commercial agreement with Super League side Shenzen Jianlibao.

Overseas examples from leagues of similar standing to Scotland show what can be done and Feyenoord's purchase of Shinji Ono ... is one of the best. As well as being a top-class midfielder, Ono has paved the way for Feyenoord to open outlets in Japan selling his official merchandise. Every Feyenoord match is sold to Japanese broadcasters while a sponsorship deal with Tomo, the mobile phone company, was a direct result of Ono's arrival ...
Another example is Chinese nationals playing in England:

When Manchester City played Everton in a Premiership match two seasons ago, the involvement of internationals Sun Jihai and Li Tie ensured a Chinese television audience of 140 million. Sky Sports, who hold the Premiership broadcasting rights, said that established a worldwide record for an English club match. Li Tie also brought a sponsorship deal with Keijan, the Chinese phone company, when he signed on at Goodison and the exposure gained in Asia led to their current tie-up with Thailand's Chang Beer.
"The Old Firm talk up their potential as worldwide brands but it is to mainly those with links to Scotland and Ireland that they currently appeal," Wilson points out. "To speak a different language, they need a different strategy."