San Francisco 49ers Announce Partnership with English Football Club Leeds United

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 07:  Jim Harbaugh poses for a picture with President and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, Jed York, (left) and general manager Trent Baalk following a press conference where Harbaugh was introduced as the new San Francisco 49ers head coach at the Palace Hotel on January 7, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

One of the most respected organizations in the NFL will do its best to help out an ailing world football program as the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to set up a partnership with Leeds United.

The news was announced on the club's official website:

Leeds United are delighted to announce a new partnership with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL).

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.

While Leeds is certainly excited about the opportunity, so are the 49ers. The team's Chief Operating Officer, Paraag Marathe, had this to say about the arrangement:

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.

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.

San Francisco has been among the most successful franchises in NFL history, winning five Super Bowls which ranks second behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team is going for its sixth title this season as one of the final eight teams in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, this success has helped the organization off the field as the 49ers were ranked No. 26 in the list of the world's most valuable sports franchises, according to Forbes Magazine. It is valued at $990 million, and could be worth even more in the future thanks to the opening of the brand new Levi's Stadium in 2014.

Conversely, Leeds United currently sit in eighth place in the Championship table, which is England's second division. The club has not been a part of the English Premier League since getting relegated in the 2003-04 season.

The organizers will hope that sharing some marketing strategies with a successful American team will help increase revenue going forward.

At the very least there could be a new market to sell to, as noted by Ian Abrahams of talkSPORT:

Above all, both sides will hope to gain knowledge, revenue and much more with this unique partnership.


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