Paris Saint-Germain takes on Asia with Singapore office launch

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are continuing their remarkable rise to becoming one of the world’s top football clubs and now have their eyes set on Asia.

With a plethora of stars like Neymar, Dani Alves, Kylian Mbappe, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani, the club has dominated Ligue 1 for years and are continuing their chase for that elusive UEFA Champions League crown.

As one of the fastest growing football clubs in the world, PSG’s international fan base is now the seventh largest with over 55 million globally, of which 17 million are in Asia.

The club has aspirations of being a frontrunner not only on the pitch but also off it. Innovative collaborations along with the objective of giving back to the community are hallmarks of PSG as a global brand.

Speaking at the launch of their Asia Pacific office at the Mapletree Business City in Singapore, Managing Director of PSG Asia Pacific, Sebastien Wasels confirmed that this is a long-term project where they hope not just to open up business opportunities but also to help local football to tap on the expertise of the club.

“It is different from us because for the English clubs who have the EPL (Premier League) visibility, their brand is already all over (Asia) so they are coming into the market to find business opportunities that are available,” Wasels said.

“In our case, we are building the brand, building our fan base so we are much more keen and that is all part of our mission, on top of obviously finding business opportunities because that is the reality of the football business today.

“We are also here to work towards helping local football and that is where we have a strong advantage… that is our strength. That is what French football is well known for is the quality of our player development programs.

“If you look at the (UEFA) Champions League rosters, the number one nationality in there is France. The number one nationality represented in the latest Ballon d’Or is French. That is something we do very well in France.

“At PSG, Three of starting lineup players, including two of our (World Cup) champions were with the club since they were 12 years old. I’m talking about (Presnel) Kimpembe and (Alphonse) Areola and (Adrian) Rabbiot who was very close to being selected for the World Cup. To cut the long story short, we have a very strong development program and that is something we want to emphasize on.

“That is why we have a collaboration with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on how we can help the local coaches and how we can help the kids participate in our clinics just to showcase how different we are and how we develop players. There could be opportunities in future about collaborating with the FAS or local clubs on sharing the know-hows.”

The opening of the Singapore office is one of a series of investments recently made in the region. In March this year, Paris Saint-Germain announced the partnership with sports marketing company DESPORTS to exclusively manage the Club’s sponsorship rights and licenses in China. This announcement was followed by the opening of the Paris Saint-Germain Park in Shanghai and the landmark partnership with Chinese esports giant, LGD Gaming, one of the best Dota 2 teams in the world.

PSG will be hosting a week-long celebration with a series of activities – in conjunction with the ongoing International Champions Cup – built upon the Parisian identity: art, fashion, culture and design.

From collaborations with local fashion designer, Mark Ong who will create limited edition merchandise for Paris Saint-Germain; to working with street artist, Ceno2 who will create unique pieces of street art, incorporating the club, Paris and Singapore; to setting up fan zones at the Sports Hub; training camps focusing on youth and coaching development; working with Club Rainbow to give back to the local community; hosting a photo exhibition: The Voices Behind The Victories focuses on the perspective of the fan; as well as creating a world class esports experience, these initiatives represent the true spirit and diversity of the Club.