Standard Chartered Plc, the UK-based bank which earns more than 75% of its profit from Asia, has confirmed to Bloomberg news agency that its record 81.5 million pound, four-year sponsorship of English Premier League football club Liverpool, was conditional upon it visiting foreign markets.
The club is about to start a tour that will include exhibition matches in China and Malaysia as well as an open training session in Singapore.
“It’s a pretty important part of why we signed the deal in the first place,” Gavin Laws, the bank executive who approved the accord, said in an interview. “We want to help bring Liverpool to our clients and executive clients in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This tour is an important part of the visibility we want to give our customers.”
Laws said he’s faced criticism after being reported as saying the bank would like the team to sign some Asian players. “We seem to be branded as having massive influence on player selection, kit selection, whatever,” he said. “We have a lot of input on areas of commercial work but we have no say whatsoever in what the kit looks like, what the colors of the kit are and we have no say in player selection. At the end of the day we clearly understand that we’re a sponsor and they’re a football club.”