Man City look to reach out to over­seas fans on sum­mer tour

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Manch­ester City are one of five English Premier League clubs trav­el­ling to com­pete in the In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup as part of their pre-sea­son prepa­ra­tions. Here, AFP Sports talks to Tom Glick, Chief Com­mer­cial Of­fi­cer at City Foot­ball Group, which runs Manch­ester City, about the mer­its of over­seas pre-sea­son tours.

Q - What is the spe­cific ap­peal of coun­tries like China and the United States to Manch­ester City?

A - “The US, which we’re vis­it­ing this year, and China, which we toured last sum­mer, are two of the big­gest and fastest grow­ing foot­ball mar­kets in the world. They are home to mil­lions of Manch­ester City fans and we have par­tic­u­lar links to both, with our sis­ter club, New York City FC, in the US and our mi­nor­ity in­vestors, China Me­dia Cap­i­tal, in China. We al­ways wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect di­rectly with our fans in both coun­tries-as well as a num­ber of other parts of the world which are close to our heart.”

Q - How do trips to these coun­tries help City lever­age its brand?

A - “Giv­ing the mil­lions of City fans around the world who can’t make a trip to the Eti­had, the abil­ity to watch their team in per­son is the ideal way for them to get closer to their club. It also en­ables us to in­tro­duce City and our play­ers to new au­di­ences who might be watch­ing and dis­cov­er­ing us for the first time, which helps us to cast our net as far as pos­si­ble. We have a num­ber of global and re­gional com­mer­cial part­ners who op­er­ate all over the world and wel­come the chance to ac­ti­vate our part­ner­ship in par­tic­u­lar ter­ri­to­ries, which tours help us to do.”

Q - From a mar­ket­ing per­spec­tive, how do you mea­sure the suc­cess of these trips?

A - “The im­por­tant thing for us is to make sure we are build­ing last­ing re­la­tion­ships with the cities and coun­tries we visit on tour and con­trib­ute some­thing to the foot­ball com­mu­nity there. This might be through com­mu­nity pro­grammes, com­mer­cial part­ner­ships or hav­ing a per­ma­nent pres­ence or sis­ter club in mar­ket, but it’s the best way of en­sur­ing we have an on­go­ing and suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship with the des­ti­na­tions we se­lect for tours.” Q - What are the non-busi­ness ben­e­fits? A - “There are few bet­ter ways to en­hance aware­ness and ex­po­sure of our club in par­tic­u­lar mar­kets than hav­ing our play­ers on the ground, train­ing, play­ing and meet­ing fans. In the an­nual foot­ball cy­cle, we don’t get many op­por­tu­ni­ties to do this, which is why we in­vest so much time and ef­fort to en­sur­ing that we choose the right places to go and max­imise our time there so that we can spend as much mean­ing­ful time with our fans as pos­si­ble.” — AFP

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