City Football Group’s commercial director on growing the Man City brand globally

Manchester City FC’s Abu Dhabi owners have invested in three other football clubs worldwide, expanding the core brand’s reach while creating a halo effect for the rest, says the commercial head of the group’s marketing operation Omar Berrada.

Q: Is the City Football Group (CFG) structure proving attractive to potential club sponsors?

It is definitely a unique proposition for global brands as we are a global marketing platform that offers a global fanbase through Manchester City, as well as the opportunity to activate locally through our clubs in New York, Melbourne and our partnership with Yokohama F Marinos.

It offers a local relevance through those clubs that are part of CFG but have their own identity, their own fanbase and their own types of engagement with their local fans.

Q: How has the structure helped to grow the Manchester City FC brand globally?

What we’re seeing with CFG is a unique opportunity to engage with fans in New York or in Melbourne and create a new type of interaction between the clubs.

There is no other football organisation that has this model and we have a consistency of values across the group to support it.

Fans are recognising that, which allows us to have a truly global and engaged fanbase.

We’re seeing that in our presence on digital media platforms, where we are reaching out to fans of the different clubs and creating content with the players and teams that is unique.

Q: How can the Manchester City brand continue to grow?

As an organisation, one of our key objectives is to win – and to win not just at Manchester City but at all of our clubs.

The other aspect is how you win. We want to play a very specific type of football – a classy, beautiful style of football that we believe resonates with football fans around the world.

So Manchester City needs consistent success on the pitch over the coming years, coupled with the work that we’re doing off the pitch to engage our fans.

Read our exclusive inside look at Manchester City’s ‘family of clubs’ strategy.


Football’s most innovative business model

Jonathan Bacon

Since its 2008 takeover by Abu Dhabi investors, Manchester City has established itself not only as one of English football’s most successful clubs but also its most exciting brand, forming a unique ‘family of clubs’ to reach new fans around the world.


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