Liverpool have been urged by sponsor Standard Chartered to buy Asian players to tap into the region’s commercial potential.
The Anfield club signed a four year deal worth £80million back in September 2009, and the company’s sponsorship chief Gavin Laws has identified the Asian market as a way to increase fanbase and revenue. Laws cited the example of Manchester United and South Korean player Park Ji Sung as a guideline into maximising the Asian market.
Laws commented: “The real power Liverpool could do for us, and for the Premier League, is if there was a way they could nurture foreign players from Asia.”
Laws is keen that caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish gets the job on a permanent basis, and thinks this will add to Liverpool’s appeal, saying: “The Kenny magic is all around the world, everybody believes Kenny can take the club [forward] and that means they stay focused and that means they stay in the newspapers around the world… we are looking for brand awareness.”
The Anfield club is likely to miss out on next season’s Champions League, but Laws does not think this will dampen the commerical opportunities. He said: “I would have thought that Liverpool have had more exposure around the world this season than anybody else……without the turmoil at the club there wouldn’t have been [the publicity]. They are a mid-table team with an outside chance of getting into the Europa League again.”
Liverpool will need extra income as they will be without the income of the Champions League, and buying an Asian player may lead to increased merchandising revenue.