Moneyball

Football: Manchester United's fan base makes them a sponsor's dream

Global football is no longer just about sport. Money matters, and in a big way. In this seventh of an eight-part series, here's a look at the fans: how are they changing with times and just how valuable are they to their clubs?

While the leading lights of European football - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich - have supporters here, for the majority of fans in Singapore, the English Premier League is king.

Singapore fans show allegiance by joining local fan clubs, buying official club merchandise, following the team on social media and, if they are lucky, making a pilgrimage to see a match once or twice a year. But, like other international fans, it is difficult for them to truly engage with a club from 10,000km away.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'United's fan base makes them a sponsor's dream'. Print Edition | Subscribe