For the last 15 years, Barclays has used the global popularity of Premier League soccer to gain footing in new markets. Next month, its reign as title sponsor ends, a reflection of the league’s growing ambitions and the bank’s shrinking ones.
Bloomberg News reports that Barclays’ strategy has changed dramatically in the three years since it last renewed the $57m-per-year sponsorship. About $28.5bn of profit has been wiped out by misconduct charges over the last five years, and its plans for global dominance have retrenched.
Since 2014 Barclays has withdrawn from its European retail operations in Spain, Italy and Portugal, and in March announced plans to leave Asia and Africa, regions where the Premier League counts some of its most avid fans. As well as turning away from seven Asian countries, Barclays is looking for a buyer for a 62% stake in Barclays Africa. The focus for now is on core business in the U.K. and the U.S.
It has also pulled back from other high-profile sponsorships, including tennis’s World Tour Finals.
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