Manel Arroyo speaks to the Japanese media. / GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

The Club’s institutional activities in Tokyo during the Club World Cup show no signs of slowing down. The global expansion of the Barça brand is one of the Club’s main managerial challenges. The most visible acts relating to this area have been the meeting with Bill Gates for the global alliance between the FC Barcelona Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the visit to the FCB Escola Katsushika.

Before attending interviews with the Japanese media, including the business daily, The Nikkei, Manel Arroyo, vice president of marketing and communications, stressed the importance of active presence worldwide in the Club’s global strategy of: "With the current size of the club, and with its sporting results arousing admiration, and with the fact that football is the only truly global sport, and with areas such as Asia or the United States ripe for growth, it is clear that Barça must be in these territories and must lay down roots."

This active presence is evident through commercial offices and the FCB Escoles. "From a marketing and sales point of view, we are in these territories with our sales offices, like we have in Hong Kong, like the one we will open in the coming weeks in New York, and like the ones we want to open around the world. And we are also in these areas through the FCB Escoles worldwide, including the one in Fukuoka and the one we visited this week in Katsushika, which was a unique and unforgettable experience."We want to spread our singularity, as well as the values for which Barça is admired around the world

"Our first objective is to strengthen sports at the Club, to maintain our competitiveness, as well as to secure the resources necessary for the projects that we have underway, such as the Espai Barça. We also want to spread our singularity, as well as the values for which Barça is admired around the world," Arroyo said.

Arroyo extolled the implementation of the strategy and its initial results: "The perception of Barça in the Asian market is optimal. Sales and marketing efforts in Asia are having a terrific response, which encourages us keep moving in this direction," Arroyo said. "The work done by the office in Hong Kong is already bearing fruit; we now have fourteen sponsors in Asia, with two new deals with banks — one in Vietnam and one in Indonesia, which are being presented while we are playing in the World Cup. We also have a dozen projects in the negotiation stage.In the coming months and years we will see new and excellent results

Among the examples of regional agreements in the Asian market are the partnerships with Oppo, one of the largest mobile manufacturing companies in China; with Chang, the beer company, a Club partner in Thailand and other ten countries in Southeast Asia; with Apamanshop, the Japanese chain of real estate agencies; with Toshiba, official partner in the field of medical services; and the comprehensive agreement with the Japanese multinational Panasonic, among others.

Arroyo is optimistic about the future. "In the coming months and years we will see the fruits of our active presence in the territories that will help spread the message that football and sport contribute to the creation of athletes and people, while at the same time spreading our brand around the world," he said.

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