Atlético try to increase their income by expanding to new markets. Like Real Madrid and Barcelona before us, Atlético want to become an international brand with fans from all over the world.
This week Miguel Ángel Gil Marín signed a “strategic partnership” with Al Ain from the UAE. Atleti hope to appeal to the Arab market and Enrique Cerezo said “we’re proud to link up with the best professional football team in the United Arab Emirates.”
Our partnership with Al Ain is the third strategic alliance the club has agreed, after our deals with Shangai Shensua from China and Muangthong United from Thailand.
We wouldn’t rule out more long trips to play friendlies like we did this pre-season, when we beat a team of Thai All Stars.
And Atlético isn’t quite done yet, with Japan next on the agenda. The club hopes to find a partner in Tokyo, which would for now conclude our activities in the Far East.
AS reports Gil Marín will travel to Mexico to sign a partnership with América at the end of this month. We have a large following in Mexico since Javier Aguirre joined us and from when we visited the country during pre-season in 2008.
Another market Atlético is keen on, is that of the United States and especially California. With 38 million inhabitants, of which 35% are hispanic, there is large potential. Atlético hope to associate with LA Galaxy, San José Earthquakes or Chivas USA.
Kick-off at noon?
According to AS, Atlético have informed the LFP of their plans to play all home games at 12.00 in the second round of la Liga.
By kicking off at lunch time our games will be broadcasted at a more convenient hour in Asia.
AtléticoFans is unsure if the club has considered the fans living in North and South America though, who would have to wake up in the middle of the night to watch our games.
The club doesn’t expect many complaints from its Spanish fanbase, because the initiative isn’t entirely new.
During Atlético’s two years in hell – the Segunda División, games were also played early in the afternoon. On two occassions the Vicente Calderón was even sold out and especially the fanclubs of our rivals appreciated the kick-off time, considering the time they had to travel.
We have visitors from all over the world on this website. What’s your stance on Atlético’s plans?