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Foreign Clubs Look To Boost Market Share With U.S. Exhibitions; A Win-Win For MLS
Published July 23, 2012
TRYING TO CRACK CHINA: In London, Mark Ogden writes the biggest names in the EPL “have been trying to ‘crack’ China for years, with [Manchester] United, in particular, working overtime to position themselves as the number one club in a nation of over one billion people.” ManU has played in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, plus the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau in recent years, but “there is a sense within the club that they are still attempting to scratch the surface in China.” Manchester City had “attempted to persuade United to agree to a derby clash in Beijing, rather than the eventual date against Arsenal, but the idea was knocked back by United, who believe their brand in China is strong enough to prosper on its own, without the help of a box office meeting with their neighbours.” While ManU officials “claim to have millions of supporters in China, tapping into their popularity there has not proven to be as straightforward and financially-rewarding as in the likes of Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.” ManU, Man City and Arsenal are “all in China this week to chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, despite the difficulties in locating it” (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 7/23).