English soccer club Newcastle United are aiming to capitalize on their Saudi Arabian links to corner the market and boost its fanbase in the Middle Eastern kingdom.

Speaking at the Leaders conference in London today (October 18), Peter Silverstone, chief commercial officer at Newcastle United, expressed the club’s hope that Newcastle will become the “team of choice” for Saudi fans, or at the very least an “affinity” will be built up to draw more attention to the club in the market.

He stated: “We have an affinity to Saudi Arabia through our ownership and therefore we have this opportunity to try and attract a fanbase.”

Newcastle was taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in 2021 and has since signed a number of sponsorship deals with PIF-linked companies such as Sela and Noon.com.

Silverstone continued: “This doesn’t happen by magic, it happens by progressive performance, strong brand building, and good activation.”

Silverstone also explained which commercial areas Newcastle have identified as being “hot.”

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He said: “Destination and event marketing continues to be extremely strong and prevalent in the industry, both in football and outside.”

Other speakers at the event also gave insight into key commercial areas that soccer clubs are targeting.

Zara Al-Kudcy, commercial director at Chelsea Women said that financial services “is naturally a good category fit to look at,” while DC United president of business operations Danita Johnson stated that given the club’s Washington, DC location, tech firms are seeing a lot of movement in commercial partnerships for the club.

Al-Kudcy also shed light on how important sponsorships are to women’s soccer, saying that while top-tier men’s soccer clubs’ revenue models are built around media rights and transfer deals, with commercial partnerships, women’s soccer is the opposite, adding that purpose-led sponsorships are more prevalent in the women’s game.

Al-Kudcy stated: “I think another thing that we're bringing into partnerships is always making sure there's a purpose attached to everything… the women care about who they were on their strip.”