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SBD Global/November 22, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
Liverpool Chief Commercial Officer Billy Hogan Helps Push Club's Global Agenda
Published November 22, 2013
GLOBAL PRESENCE: Liverpool has continued its global expansion this year in the form of football academies. The club announced recently that it will open a new coaching complex in China and a football academy in India. Hogan: “From our perspective, it makes sense to have a presence there. In this case, it’s about supporting the development of the game in those markets. This isn’t about developing the next Premier League player in those markets. It’s being able to impact the development of the game.” Interest in Liverpool in those regions is strong. This was evidenced last summer when Liverpool embarked on a preseason tour played in front of overflow crowds in Indonesia, Australia and Thailand. The tour attracted more than 300,000 fans, including a sold-out crowd of 95,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While the preseason friendlies are not major revenue drivers, according to Hogan, selling merchandise in those regions is. To help keep costs lower for fans in those regions, Liverpool recently opened int’l merchandise distribution centers in places such as the Middle East, Thailand and Vietnam.
BACK IN THE U.S.: While Liverpool focuses on growing and communicating with fans in Asia and the Middle East, another key market is also a focus for the club -- the U.S. Liverpool has a distinct advantage in the U.S. given that it is the home of owners Fenway Sports Group. The Premier League’s $250M deal with NBC has also facilitated the exposure of the club to potential U.S. fans. The growing interest of the league in the U.S. has also been flanked by several major U.S. sponsors teaming up with Liverpool, including Chevrolet, Lumber Liquidators and Stanley Tools. Hogan: “A lot of those conversations here with the U.S. brands are starting to get some traction. It’s exciting to see some of those U.S. brands getting involved in the sport.” For Hogan, who splits time between his home in Boston and job in the U.K., this is something he sees firsthand. Hogan: “I would say the U.S. is definitely an emerging market in football.”