American Liverpool FC eyes revenue growth in Asia

Whenever an English football club is bought by a foreigner and expections of big income flows are hightened, eyes first turn to Asia, it seems. After meeting George Gillett Jr and Tom Hicks, the new American co-owners of English Premier League club Liverpool, coach Rafael Ben├Čtez gushed: “Liverpool is a club that can improve and grow by keeping the ideas that have made us strong and making improvements where needed. For example, how many club shops do we have around the world? We should be doing more in areas such as Asia, or even Spain, where we are very popular. There’s a big difference between the commercial side of a club like Liverpool or Real Madrid. The name of Real Madrid has made a lot of money over the years.”

The Times noted the connection: "Commercial revenue is not only about selling shirts in Asia and other overseas markets but of attracting lucrative sponsorship contracts. [Manchester] United’s shirt-sponsorship deal with AIG is worth £14.1 million a year; Liverpool’s long-running association with Carlsberg is worth an estimated £6 million a season. Liverpool’s contract with Carlsberg expires in the summer and the club hoped to replace it with a far more lucrative sponsorship deal. Gillett and Hicks will have their business contacts working on the project, which could be combined with sponsorship rights for the new stadium, as Arsenal did with Emirates," Oliver Kay wrote.