City football group has Global game plan

CFG aiming to gain traction worldwide as Glick hints that Man City may come to S'pore

City Football Group's (CFG) chief commercial officer Tom Glick (above )
City Football Group's (CFG) chief commercial officer Tom Glick (above )

Hiring Pep Guardiola and bringing in a host of star players can make Manchester City winners not just on the pitch, but off it as well.

Their undeniable celebrity status - coupled with a load of trophies in recent years - has undoubtedly raised City's profile to a level well beyond that of a decade ago.

Lauding the Guardiola effect, City Football Group's (CFG) chief commercial officer Tom Glick  said: "He's a breath of fresh air to the club and brings a good vibe.

"There's a renewed enthusiasm, excitement and work ethic around. He's always looking to improve and push boundaries to bring City to the next level. His get-up-and-go attitude gets the players moving.

"Our first reason to bring in Pep or any top player is to help us win. But of course, their star power undeniably attracts more fans and it's great to have the best of both worlds."

But Glick said CFG is still working hard behind the scenes to gain traction worldwide, not only for City but also for their sister clubs New York City (Major League Soccer), Melbourne City (A-League) and Yokohama F. Marinos (J-League).

The American is in town as a speaker at the Millennial 20/20 Summit at the ArtScience Museum, where he shared with delegates CFG's insights on the sports model which serves its four clubs. He told The Straits Times: "To understand the modern football fan in this day and age, we have to think about how to distribute content around the world to engage these fans.

"An important part of this is ensuring the clubs are able to be relatable to anyone worldwide but also retain their local roots in Manchester, Australia and so on.

"Therefore, we have individuals and offices all round the world focused on fans in those regions. We also rely on producing great online content to reach out to fans of all clubs around the globe."

City have been extending their reach in Asia.

In July, they travelled to Beijing to play Manchester United in the International Champions Cup.

They have not been letting up off the pitch either.

For example in April, Astra Otoparts - Indonesia's largest automotive component group of companies - became City's official regional partner.

The partnership allows the two parties to collaborate on a range of promotional activities like competitions to win exclusive merchandise and visits to Manchester.

And in May, Australian wine brand Wolf Blass announced a multi-year marketing deal with City, making it the club's official wine partner for Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Mexico.

Last December, CFG also announced a US$400 million (S$538.52 million) investment from Chinese consortium China Media Capital for a 13 per cent stake. It valued CFG at US$3 billion.

CFG is wholly owned by Abu Dhabi United Group - an investment and development company privately owned by Sheikh Mansour. Its headquarters are in Manchester and it has offices in Abu Dhabi, London, New York, Melbourne, Singapore and Tokyo.

The Singapore branch oversees commercial operations in South-east Asia and works closely with corporate partners and an estimated 80 million fans across the region.

Turning to the Republic, Glick said the Citizens playing in Singapore is a possibility some time in the future.

The 47-year-old added: "Doing more for the supporters' club in Singapore is an important aspect of what we'll focus on going forward.

"We've played games on Tour in Asia and we'd love to play a game in Singapore. This is something that we will do in the future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2016, with the headline 'City football group has Global game plan'. Print Edition | Subscribe