English Premier League clubs capitalize on Asia market

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More Chinese soccer lovers have become fans of English Premier League clubs. [File photo]

More Chinese soccer lovers have become fans of English Premier League clubs. [File photo]

English Premier League clubs are racing to cash in on the growing Asia market, as a spate of commercial sponsorship deals, a legion of shirt-wearing fans and television rights contracts are fuelling the business of soccer in Asia.

It is estimated that Asia's total soccer fan base stands at more than a billion. According to sports research company Repucom, more than 820 million of them are fans of the English Premier League.

Although English soccer's dominant position in Asia has been challenged by Spanish champions Barcelona, some of Asia's biggest brands are vying to strike multimillion-pound deals to put their names on Premier League players' shirts.

Hong Kong financial services company Goldenway is backing Welsh side Swansea City to the tune off HK$23.8 million, joining better known brands such as Samsung (Chelsea, HK$215 million per season), Standard Chartered (Liverpool, HK$238 million) and Thai brewer Chang (Everton, HK$36 million).

Chinese men's clothing retailer Bosideng became a commercial partner with English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur last week, in order to increase its global presence. The agreement includes the provision of suits, shirts, ties, shoes and accessories from its latest collection, as well as a presence across the Club's website and social media channels to directly engage with fans across the world.

Wayne Zhu, CEO of Bosideng UK, added: "The partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is a key part of Bosideng London's strategy to establish a brand platform within the UK and Europe. I am delighted and excited by our association with such a world famous partner, and I am positive this will be a long and fruitful relationship."

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