It was less than a year ago when City Football Group (CFG) announced a partnership, which would see the ever-growing football network become a minority shareholder of three time J-league winners Yokohama F Marinos.

The arrangement was such that where the group would cooperate with the Japanese side, exposing the latter to MCFC’s topnotch setup, inclusive of a multipart approach to football, marketing, medical, media, commercial care, never ever seen before in the J-League.

The team based in the second largest city in Japan – Yokohama was founded as a company squad for Japanese automaker Nissan and remains the longest serving team in Japan’s top flight.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO, during the announcement mentioned,

“The YF Marinos is an excellent soccer club with a rich history which has grown hand in hand with Nissan. Together we see opportunities that CFG’s global soccer infrastructure will bring to the club and the excitement it will bring to the fans,” adding “This partnership will contribute to the growth of the club, the growth of our shared hometown, Yokohama, as well as Yokosuka and Japanese soccer.”

Similar sentiment was conveyed by Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group, at the time who said

“We’re thrilled to be able to play a role in investing and building on the on-going success of YF Marinos.”

A few days ago CFG went on to strengthen their intentions by opening a Tokyo office for its City Football Japan subsidiary, which will administer operations in Japan while working closely with the YF Marinos.

This was just in time before the Marinos kick-start their campaign this weekend against Kawasaki Frontale. The announcement also came just after Chelsea sealed a record-breaking £200m shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber.

CFG will rely on the experience of Takao Toshishige to manage the relationship with the club along with identifying new commercial opportunities for all entities within the group.

Regarding the appointment, Ferran Soriano said,

“We are growing and developing a long-term presence in Japan. Now we have a permanent home and in Toshishige-San, we have the perfect individual to lead our operations.”

CFG, through their recent contributions to the various clubs under the group, have made their intentions clear having followed a wider global strategy capitalizing on the strengths that exists within the domestic markets and share learning’s between them.

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