The deal is the first of its kind targeted specifically at the Barclays Premier League leader’s growing fanbase in East Asia. Under the partnership, MLJ has exclusive rights to develop City’s official Japanese mobile website for non-smartphone handheld devices until May 2013. The website will host daily news content and downloadable team photography, as well as giving City’s Japanese fans easy access to official merchandise, memorabilia and matchday tickets. The deal signals a new chapter in City’s plans to expand its international fanbase, with similar partnership arrangements likely to follow in other major markets in Asia.
“We’re extremely excited to be entering into the Asia market with partners MLJ Inc, who already help some of the biggest names in world football reach out to a host of new fans, from across Japan,” said Ian Cafferky, chief brand and commercial officer for Manchester City. “This deal marks another chapter in the club’s digital strategy to engage with our international fan base, bringing supporters as close as possible to the matchday experience, through greater interaction online and on mobile.”
Teruhisa Ade, CEO of MLJ Inc., added: “We are extremely happy to enter into a partnership with Manchester City Football Club who are not only extremely ambitious, but also play in the most competitive professional football league in the world. Through this new service, Japanese supporters will be able to experience the club’s success, closer than ever before.”