Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers, left, and managing director Ian Ayre speak at a press conference in Melbourne as part of a tour to connect with fans in the Asian region. Photo: AFP
English Premier League club Liverpool has a storied history laden with trophies, including winning the prestigious European Cup five times, and plenty of fans around the world.
But the club's managing director, Ian Ayre, wants to reach even more supporters in various countries and has established a social media and technology strategy to achieve that goal.
In particular, Liverpool is determined to connect with more fans in the Asian region, where it is currently on tour.
The team will play at a sold-out Melbourne Cricket Ground against A-League club Melbourne Victory on Wednesday, a match which falls either side of games in Indonesia and Thailand.
Though the trip serves as preseason training for manager Brendan Rodgers and his team of expensive star players, it is also important in a commercial sense given many of Liverpool's fans, and an increasing amount of sponsors, are based in Asia.
At least 15 staff from the club's commercial division are travelling with the team and will stay on in the region after the players return to Liverpool on Sunday in the hopes of signing new sponsorship deals.
A key part of doing that will be to show sponsors how the team is engaging with fans in the local markets.
Liverpool has sent some of its former stars such as Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler around the region to interact with fans at various public events.
But an even more important strategy has been a rapid expansion into social media.
LOCAL CONTENT ESSENTIAL
Ayre tells The Australian Financial Review the club has its Twitter account translated into 16 separate languages, offering a mix of Liverpool-specific and locally tailored content, with the club engaging local media companies and employees to help create the content.
"In Australia, you will have a local Twitter feed that obviously is in English and contains a mixture of news from Liverpool but also information about what is going on with the supporters' club in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, for example," Ayre says.
"The only way and the best way is to get local people involved in the creation of that content. In Indonesia, for example, we have employed local people to work with us so what you get is a broad mixture of content.
"You get the centralised news. . . such as what is coming out of the training ground, and then we get a very local slant from our people working with us on the ground, and then a mix of global football [news] as well. And we have found that mixture to be quite good."
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