Asian market important for Spurs growth

This month sees the start of Spurs' £100m shirt sponsorship deal with insurance company AIA, part of a plan to target the Asia-Pacific region.


Asia market important for Spurs growth


The deal saw AIA become shirt sponsor for all competitions, not just cup games. The deal is aimed at helping both partners to grow brand awareness in key markets across the Asia-Pacific region.

Club ambassadors Ledley King and Ossie Ardiles, among others, will make regular visits to AIA's markets, to support a series of co-branded initiatives for company staff, agents, customers and charitable partners.

Tottenham Hotspur will also send the global coaching team to deliver elite coaching programs and associated activities to support AIA's key objectives of promoting health and well-being and increased participation in sport in the Asia-Pacific region.

The award-winning Tottenham Hotspur Foundation will share ideas and philosophies with AIA to help improve the lives of underprivileged young people across the Far East region.

Spurs executive director Charlie Wijeratna revealed:

"The interest is massive in Asia, including China. There are more people outside the UK who like and follow Spurs than there are inside the UK.”

Around the world Premier League football was watched on TV last year by 3.9 billion people in 207 countries, 1.24 billion of them in Asia alone.

Spurs has an estimated three million core fans in the UK, there are another 179 million supporters in other parts of the world who follow the team’s fortunes and the club have to find new ways to engage with them.

Asian fans are only interested in European football it seems, a recent World Cup qualifier between Vietnam and Hong Kong saw just 5,000 there but when Arsenal visited it was an entirely different story, they couldn't sell enough tickets.

Europe’s top leagues are available on TV 24/7 across Asia and every English Premier League team has Asian sponsors and partners.

Tottenham are a distance behind Manchester United who have a huge fan base in Asia thanks to David Beckham, who the continent couldn't get enough of. Then they signed Park Ji-Sun, the best Asian player of his generation and a national hero in Korea. Now of course they have Japanese footballer Shinji Kagawa.

Having a player like that is massive, just as having and American player is excellent for exposure in the States. If we want to grow our fan base in Asia then we'll need to sign a top Asian player and for him to have a meaningful part to play at the club.

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Gareth Bale had a one week promotional tour to Asia at the end of the season and he was paid £2.5 million for that trip.

The next step is inevitable, the hunt for the world’s first world-class Chinese player. Both Ledley King and Edgar Davids were in Hong Kong recently.

To compete with the biggest teams we need to maximise revenue and that means maximising support in Asia, China and America with our brand. The essence of the Tottenham Hotspur brand to a sponsor is ‘flair, style and adventure’ so it's important the football matches that.

AIA have paid £100 million over 5 years to tap into it, we have to work hard during these 5 years to increase our support and pick up new Asian commercial partners along the way.




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