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After a busy schedule on the island of Hainan, including the signing of an agreement with Mission Hills whereby Barça will be partnering with the business group, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Òscar Grau, CEO of FC Barcelona, travelled to Hong Kong to pay a visit to the offices that the Club has had in the city since July 2013. Since then, the office has been consolidated as a successful model for attracting new sponsors and creating a connection with supporters on the Asian continent. Over this period, the Club has increased its number of Asian sponsors from five in 2013 to 14 in early 2017.

The Hong Kong office is managed by Xavier Asensi, who coordinates a group of 13 people including employees from China, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, Nepal, England and also Catalonia.

During his visit, the Barça president was interviewed by two media outlets that specialise in economic affairs: the Financial Times and Bloomberg. He discussed with them such topics as the club’s strategic plan, its commercial strategy in Asia, its approach to local supporters, the importance of the deal with Mission Hills and the creation of the first FCBEscola that is fully managed by the Club.

Visit to Hong Kong supporters club

Once they had finished at the office, the Barça entourage moved to the neighbouring island of Kowloon, where they were welcomed by the more than 50 members of the Hong Kong supporters club, which include some Catalan residents in the city. The president of the ‘penya’ presented Bartomeu with one of the club’s membership cards.

Josep Maria Bartomeu is planning to return home on Saturday, in good time to attend Sunday’s Liga fixture against Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón.

Business dinner

It has been an intense schedule for the Barça representatives, and no sooner had they arrived in Hainan than they were attending a dinner with local businesspeople. President Bartomeu, Óscar Grau and Xavier Asensi dined with senior executives of major Asian firms, where they spoke about opportunities to explore new joint ventures. Tenniel Chu, vice-president of Mission Hills Group, also attended the dinner.

Statement by FC Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu:

“The atmosphere that’s breathed in the Honk Kong office is totally Barça, and I feel very proud of that. Every Barça fan that travels to Hong Kong must come here to see that all of our supporters from around the world also have a foot in this city”.

“This visit has raised major expectations. FC Barcelona is widely admired around the world, especially in China. This has all drawn a lot of media interest, not just in China but in much of Asia. The media have gone wild about Barça. We have noticed that FC Barcelona is a much loved and admired club, and for it to have come to China and set up a permanent home is one further step in our ambition to globalise. We want to get closer to our fans”.

“Now we have a very important league match against Atlético Madrid. We are playing to stay in contention for the title, a title that is Barça’s number one target every season. We are very close, just a point behind. We’re playing against a side that we know well and that plays very well. In the Copa del Rey semi-finals they showed just what a competitive team they are. Barça has the chance to make a statement, to let it be known that we want to win this league, that we are ambitious, and we want Barça supporters, who have gone through some uncertain times of late, to see that this is not over yet”.

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