Newcastle Jets Chief Executive Officer Lawrie McKinna, former player Joel Griffiths and Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop helped take awareness of Newcastle Jets FC and the Hyundai A-League to new heights in Asia on Wednesday.
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At the Crowne Plaza in Beijing the trio joined Newcastle Jets Owner and Chairman, Mr Martin Lee from Ledman Group, for a media conference which was attended by approximately 100 Chinese journalists.
Lee, McKinna, Gallop and Griffiths each gave individual addresses during the press conference, while Martin Lee revealed his ambitions for the club in the Chinese market.
Lee’s aim is for the club to qualify for the AFC Champions League within three years, and he intends for at least one Chinese player to be signed to the club’s squad in due course.
Lee is also seeking to unlock commercial value for the club in the Middle Kingdom, meaning Chinese sponsors could soon feature on the Jets’ Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League strips.
Football tours to China, and marketing of the club within China, are a key focus for Lee and Ledman Group. A cooperation agreement between Ledman Group’s ‘12th Man’ football app was signed at the press conference.
After the press conference Lee and Gallop conducted exclusive interviews with Lanxiong Sport and Beijing Television, before the Jets, FFA and Ledman Group delegation left the Crowne Plaza to visit the Chinese Football Association.Tonight (Wednesday, AEST) the delegation will fly to Shenzhen, home city of Lee’s Ledman Group.
On Thursday morning the group will visit the Shenzhen Municipality’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, before a second press conference is held in the afternoon.
The General Secretary of the Shenzhen Football Association, Shaohui Li, will be present at Thursday’s press conference.