Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Reds Set Sight On Asia

Liverpool Appoints New Commercial Director

Sounds like we're moving in the right direction.

Liverpool, being one of the biggest clubs in football, sounds like a pretty marketable brand name and the reputation, prestige and history of the club makes it even more attractive.

But I do feel let down on the commercial and merchandising side of the club. We have lagged behind when it comes to entering the Asian market, which is extremely profitable and lucrative.

With ManYoo already had club stores set up in various Asian nations, they have managed to harness the spending powers of club fans from the developed nation such as Singapore and also, one cannot dismiss the likes of China, who has a gigantic market of 1.3 billion people.

Meanwhile, Chelsea too, saw the potential of Asia and signed a agreement with the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) to develop players from China in a plan named 'Vision Asia'. That'll certainly increase the popularity of the club.

But the barren years within Liverpool's trophy cabinet for the past decade prior to Rafa Benitez's appointment means that the Reds had lessen it's hold on the Asian market and that without a man in charge of the merchandising side of the club, it does look like the brand is fading away.

But the appointment of the new commercial director will certainly bring an amount of interest, especially for Liverpool fans in Asia. We're excited to see what's in store for us and how is the club going to 're-establish' itself within the region.

Adding on to the fact that Liverpool recently signed a deal with both Carlsberg and Adidas, I feel that the owners now believe that the matters on the pitch are now more or less settled, with Rafa Benitez at helm. Now they're ready to go onto the off-the-pitch matters.

But like a double-edged sword, there's always a flip side to this and that's the accusation of the club extorting the Asian market and that they're only interested in money, not about helping to develop Asia and the growing support for football in the region.

Like I said previously, I believe this is the right move and that I firmly believe that the club will gain much from the Asian market provided we come up with the right business strategy and the right way of approach.

The appointment of Ian Ayre will be a great help to CEO Rick Parry and that his expertise in commercial development plus sponsorship would probably get us the most lucrative deals out there and we'll no longer be 'blackmailed' by companies, making sure we'll get the most lucrative deals out there.

Once the outreached hands of the Reds touches Asia, the club would certainly reap great rewards and if the club continues to do well on the pitch, it'll certainly be an upward curve for the Reds from now on.

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