In 2014, Port Adelaide Football Club made a strategic decision to engage in China.
This decision was prompted by the realities of the sports industry. In Australia, there are over ninety professional sporting teams – about the same number as there are in the United States, which has a much bigger population and market. Port Adelaide is part of a congested domestic sports landscape in Australia.
To have the financial strength needed to build a premiership culture, we needed to find new revenue streams, from new partners, in new markets.
Port Adelaide was seeking to break new ground, and China was a natural place in which to realise its ambition. China is Australia’s largest trading partner and important source of foreign investment, and rapidly increase its consumption of sporting products.
In a short space of time, Port Adelaide has developed a strong foundation from which to realise its vision. With two major-level sponsors a direct result of its engagement in China, regular elevated interactions with significant government figures, protagonists in the AFL’s first in-season matches in Asia, Port Adelaide is well placed to realise its ambition to become a global brand with a business model that benefits from its international connections and savvy.