First came Chinese company Sailun Tyre. Then came Asia-based betting firm BK8. There is a common pattern there. Valencia have not so much waded as dived into the Asian market over the last 2 years.
The club’s expansion towards the world’s largest continent is a calculated move backed by a flurry of opportunities. In fact, the key aim is to establish Los Che as one of the choice LaLiga teams in the region to gain global exposure.
“We have identified different territories or markets (in Asia) where we think could have potential for the club in terms of marketing, reach and awareness,” commercial strategy coordinator Josep Borrell told Batzine. “Singapore and China fit the profile, that’s why it was important to explore those markets for companies that could be interesting for us.”
LaLiga is a huge draw in Asia too, which affords Valencia a chance to brand themselves as a marketing platform to billions, he added. The partnership with Sailun Tyre is seen as a crucial entry point for further collaborations.
But the strategy is not merely driven by a quest for worldwide recognition. The almost 2-year long COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Bats, and many other clubs, where it hurts the most – finances.
“Obviously some brands have been badly affected,” said Borrell. “But there are some other industries that have benefitted from the pandemic, and we understood that we needed to find such businesses that haven’t suffered.”
Having secured a foothold in Asia, Valencia are looking to build on the initial efforts and invest further in the digital sphere where more awaits. And the best way forward is to lean on brands with a strong track record.
He added: “Football, in the end, is not comparable with many marketing platforms in terms of reach so we wanted to capitalise on (these sponsors). I would say they actually complement our international strategy and show a real case that it is working.”