Liverpool and Barbados

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Barbados and Liverpool

Barbados – encourage Liverppol FC supporters to visit the island

Why has the Barbados Tourism Authority joined in partnership with Liverpool Football Club?

The official line is that it will aid Liverpool’s expansion of its already strong global sporting ties since Barbados has hosted a number of world class sporting events.

The truth probably is that it enables the Caribbean island to promote tourism to Liverpool fans wherever they are in the world. That starts with an event on  September 13th when there is the ‘Taste of Barbados’  which will be at Anfield’s Family Park, at the home game against Aston Villa.  As the press release puts it, “Fans can expect delicious food, pumping Caribbean beats from the steel band, dance performances and much more – certainly enough to whet the appetite for a trip to the island!”

For Barbados this looks like a really good deal. Liverpool is one of the most followed clubs with millions of fans. But what does Liverpool get out of it? Billy Hogan of the club said, “As well as us being able to engage with fans in the Caribbean, tapping into what is already a nation of sports lovers, our global followers will get the chance to win tickets to games as well as once-in-a-lifetime holidays, courtesy of our new partner. We want to work with BTA to help promote the many attributes of Barbados to our global followers, and help increase the numbers of visiting fans to the island.”

Is then a way for Liverpool to drum up additional interest amongst its fans and build on a Caribbean fanbase? It seems a little one-sided to me unless Barbados are stumping up some cash for this opportunity.

Will other football clubs follow this idea? Can we expect a team to espouse the benefits of Hainan in China and tap into the huge Chinese footballing fanbase? Could Chelsea via its chairman promote Chukotka in Russia where he used to be governor? Should Arsenal link with Strasbourg where Arsene Wenger was born and encourage holidays there? And many clubs could link up with Italian cities via their managers.

But why should we just stop at football?  The welsh rugby team could link with Patagonia in Argentina just in time for the 150th anniversary of the first Welsh settlers going there, Bradford Bulls could link with the bull running city of Pamplona in Spain and Guildford Flames ice hockey team could link with … Maybe it’s not such a good idea for every team to jump on the band wagon.

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