At first glance, this seems an odd headline to stumble across.
However, the NFL continuing to grab a bigger and bigger piece of the English soccer pie, it comes as no surprise that another American football franchise is claiming their stake.
The San Francisco 49ers and championship side Leeds United have announced a business partnership that entails…well, they don’t really know yet.
The release on Leeds’ official websites states the 49ers will “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.”
According to Leeds United managing director David Haigh, the first step is brainstorming.
“This is a strategic partnership and we’re looking forward to working closely with the 49ers,” said Haigh. “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.”
The 49ers are on the same page, with CEO Paraag Marathe basically paraphrasing Haigh.
“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,” said Marathe, echoing Haigh’s sentiments of future workings. “We look forward to sharing best practices with Leeds United and providing them with our perspective on the sports industry. This is an exciting opportunity for us to link up with an English football club and learn from each other.”
We’ll have to wait and see exactly what this partnership brings both sides, but expect to see lots of cross promotion, and possibly even the opening of future doors with the opportunity for even more melding than just business partnerships.
Maybe Colin Kaepernick racing down the touchline blasting a shot on goal? Patrick Willis punishing opposing midfielders with crunching tackles? Now there’s a thought.