SBD/April 1, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Standard Chartered Wants Liverpool To Bring In High-Profile Asian Players

Standard Chartered sees potential for Liverpool to expand exposure in Asia
Liverpool shirt sponsor Standard Chartered wants the EPL club to "bring in high-profile Asian players to capitalize on their marketability on the continent," according to Rob Harris of the AP. Standard Chartered Head of Corporate Affairs Gavin Laws "outlined his hopes for Liverpool" Thursday, saying that the bank "sees great potential for the club to increase its exposure in the Asian market -- where it does most of its business." Laws: "The markets in Asia and the Middle East are so nationalistic, they are very proud about their countries. (Matches) become huge events. One appearance from a player, say from Dubai in the Premier League, and you'd have the whole of Dubai watching it." Liverpool currently ranks sixth in the EPL, meaning the team is "set to miss out on competing in the more lucrative Champions League for the second successive season." But for Standard Chartered, European competitions "are of less interest than the Premier League." Laws: "The Champions League for us as a sponsor is not that important for us. By the time the games are played, the major markets we are interested in, everyone is asleep and in bed." Laws added, "The market is saturated in Europe with so many clubs, how many more merchandise sales are they going to create over the next 10 years? If the clubs want to do merchandise sales going at an exponential rate you've got to be in China, you've got to be in Korea really getting all the people excited about the game." Harris noted Standard Chartered "committed to investing" $134M "over the next four years to replace beer brand Carlsberg as the principal commercial backer of the club," which was bought by Fenway Sports Group in October (AP, 3/31). YAHOO SPORTS' Brooks Peck wrote, "Clearly this man knows the business of football. No one in Asia cares about the world's premier club tournament because they're all asleep when the matches happen. Right" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/31).

GETTING INVOLVED: In London, Ian Herbert reports Standard Chartered "has sought reassurances that the conduct of players will not cause it any embarrassment." Standard Chartered CEO Peter Sands "sought undertakings with his Liverpool opposite number about the club's likely action against offending players and also had sight of the club's code of conduct before signing" the sponsorship deal last year. Also, Laws "stated the merits" of Fenway Sports Group "refurbishing Anfield rather than building a new stadium." Laws: "Anfield is not as developed as some other clubs and that makes it very exciting for our guests from Asia" (London INDEPENDENT, 4/1).
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