Championship side Leeds United has formed a “strategic partnership” with the San Francisco 49ers. They aren’t the first team to have ties to a English soccer club. Shahid Khan owns Premier League side Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Glazer family own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United.
“This is a strategic partnership and we’re looking forward to working closely with the 49ers,” Leeds’ managing director David Haigh said.
“They are a worldwide brand, and we’ll be discussing all aspects of our business; marketing, ticketing, merchandising, and commercial opportunities, and hopefully tapping into and sharing knowledge with them.”
What the “strategic partnership” is, hasn’t been elaborated upon. Like the Jaguars-Fulham link, it could possibly include some preseason match ups in the 49ers’ new stadium to increase the club’s visibility in the growing market that is the United States. It is an aggressive move for a club that isn’t even in the top flight of English soccer. They’re currently in eighth place in the Championship and currently not in position to compete for promotion.
The Leeds United website says 49ers brass is headed England to discuss the partnership.
The exciting arrangement will see the American Football pioneers send a delegation to Leeds to meet with senior management staff to discuss key areas of the club’s business, including ticketing strategies, sponsorship and commercial opportunities, technology, and retail and merchandising.
“The 49ers are market leaders in many respects, and they are excited to be working with us as we are with them,” Leeds United chairman Salah Nooruddin told the club website.
“The 49ers are very excited about the prospect of partnering with Leeds United, a club with an international following as well as great history and tradition,” Paraag Marathe, chief operating officer of the 49ers, said. “We look forward to sharing best practices with Leeds United and providing them with our perspective on the sports industry.”