SBD/June 16, 2011/Franchises

Fenway Sports Group Relying On Liverpool, LeBron For International Growth

James, Livepool both headed to Asia within the next few weeks

Heat F LeBron James and Liverpool are "at the center of a push" by Fenway Sports Group to "increase its commercial revenue around the world," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Both James and the EPL club are "heading to Asia on promotional tours in the coming weeks." Liverpool will play exhibition games in Malaysia and China in July "before James’s four-city trip across China, where basketball’s popularity outstrips soccer's." FSG signed a deal in April to rep James, and Fenway Sports Management co-Managing Dir Billy Hogan said, "The reception we’ve had from companies and corporations has been extraordinary over the last couple of months of our partnership with LeBron." Panja noted Liverpool is FSG's "latest acquisition and the one that’s needed the most attention." The club's management has been reorganized, with the promotion of Commercial Dir Ian Ayre to Managing Dir Hogan said that the "focus is on getting sponsorships" such as the team’s jersey deal with Standard Chartered. Rival Manchester United "has been successful in getting sponsors after expanding its sales office in London," and Liverpool is "trying to mimic that success." FSG also is "trying to increase American fans’ awareness of Liverpool." Hogan revealed that a U.S. tour next summer is "being discussed although details can’t be completed until next season’s baseball schedule is known." Hogan also said that Liverpool "may consider selling naming rights to its proposed new stadium" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/15).

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