Liverpool’s new suitors no strangers to English soccer

Boston Red Sox owners already involved with one Premier League club – see what they think of the game and fans

By Marc Webber
The news that the owners of the Boston Red Sox are the latest suitors to Liverpool should come as no surprise to those that have studied the work of New England Sports Ventures.
For they are no strangers to English Premier League football and already have an active interest in it.
They have been working with Fulham Football Club for the last year – securing them a shirt sponsor and actively expanding the London club’s marketing opportunities in the United States.
If you go to the parent company’s website (http://fenwaysportsgroup.com) they are open about the fact that their primary raison d’etre is to create new business away from the core offering of Boston Red Sox baseball.
Liverpool fans will naturally be nervous about a bunch of Yanks offering to run the club. But I would urge them to give Fenway/NESV a chance to win them over.
In an interview I did with them for F.C. Business magazine a few months ago, they convinced me that they did understand football and the fans behind it.
Their early work for Fulham FC seems to show an understanding of the needs of the club and its supporter base wherever they are.
Here are some quotes from that interview with Fenway Executive Vice President Billy Hogan about their Fulham deal and how they feel about the EPL.
“First off, the enthusiasm from the people at Fulham was always there. And secondly, the two sides are very similar – they both have a heritage and we are used to marketing a legacy with our work at the Red Sox, so we know what a club like Fulham can offer potential sponsors.”
“Working smarter is the mindset of this partnership for us. There are so many things we could do to expand awareness of Fulham over here. But we know that the priority is to get a commercial partner who will embrace the club and its values.
“By doing that, awareness of the club will rise over time to compliment the already growing support base it has over here.”
And Billy believes this is just the start of similar opportunities for English Clubs.
“There are many great teams and leagues in Europe, but I think British teams have a good chance of getting value out of their brand in the United States.
“It’s not because English is the majority language. It is just down to better awareness. Even people not interested in soccer know of the English Premier League than, say, the Bundesliga or Serie A.
“The EPL has done a good job of marketing itself abroad and one of their key assets has been the player talent in the league. Anyone likes quality and the EPL has world class quality players.”

Full credit for the scoop to Sky News City Editor Mark Kleinman. You can read his blog at http://skynews.com