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Spanish football club Valencia hires Iris to position ‘Phoenix from the ashes’ brand in Asia

Valencia club crestValencia FC has hired an advertising agency to position its brand in Asia as the Spanish football club looks to compete for audience and sponsorship share in a region dominated by interest in the English Premier League and local leagues.

Valencia’s Singapore-based international division head Peter Draper revealed the news to Mumbrella at the Sports Matters conference in Singapore today.

The La Liga club, which has endured severe financial difficulties in recent years and has had limited funds to explore building a presence overseas, has appointed Iris Worldwide in Singapore for a strategic positioning assignment.

In a conversation with Mumbrella earlier today, Draper said: We’ve just engaged Iris to help us find the right tone and say the right things. You need clever people with pencils and crayons to help you do that.”

On what he wants the Valencia brand to stand for in Asia, he said: “Part of what I’d like to concentrate on is be a reflection of the city we’re from. It’s a fabulous city. It is a really surprising city. I want us to be seen as a surprise. I want how we communicate to be a reflection of the city in attitude.”

“We have to try to be different. We can’t be Real Madrid,” he said.

“The club has been existence for 100 years, and we are Phoenix from the ashes,” he said, referring to the club’s escape from near financial meltdown due to huge debt in 2010. They sold a string of their best players, including David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata to avoid going bust.

Besides building a fan base, Valencia also wants to raise its profile among potential sponsors.

“No one will get the sack for doing a deal with Real Madrid. So why Valencia?” he said. “We have to work with brands, the marketing and sponsorship guys, to tell them that we have a good story. We’re looking for someone who will take a risk and say we’ll do three years with you. If it works, they would get feathers in their caps.”

On working with sponsors, Draper added: “I would expect us to be more agile, more flexible in delivering commercial programs for brands [than the competition]; a better listening ear to what brands want, and to be able to tailor a solution to suit them. We can’t ask for $5m for a brand to be associated with us on a regional basis, but we can offer great value.”

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