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Carabao in sponsorship deal with Chelsea FC

Nov 26. 2015
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By Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn


Carabao Group yesterday signed a three-year, 30-million-pound (Bt1.6 billion) deal to be an official principal partner of London-based Chelsea Football Club in the Barclays Premier League.

The sponsorship deal will allow the Thailand-based energy-drink manufacturer to explore sales opportunities in London and other potential markets around the world.

Sathien Setthasit, chairman and chief executive of Carabao Group, said the company was looking to set up a manufacturing facility for its Carabao energy drink in Europe, possibly in Belgium, when its sales volume reached around 200 million cans per annum. He said the company would officially launch its energy drink in Britain next April. At that time, the company expects to distribute Carabao energy drinks to 10,000 major retail outlets in that country in the first year.

The sales and marketing activities for Carabao energy drink in the United States and Europe are handled by its exclusive distributor, Intercarabao Ltd, an independent company formed by individual investors from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Britain who have businesses in England.

"We want Carabao to have a 10-per-cent share of the world’s energy-drink market within three years, worth about US$50 billion [Bt1.79 trillion] in total, of which 22 per cent is in the US, 11 per cent in Europe, and about 20 per cent in Asia and China. At that time, our worldwide sales will reach $6 billion. We will then be the fourth-largest player in the world’s energy-drink market, behind Red Bull, Monster and Rock Star," Sathien said.

He said Carabao expected to grow its energy-drink sales by 5-6 per cent to nearly Bt8 billion this year, of which 30 per cent will be from export.

Christian Purslow, Chelsea FC managing director, said the club was delighted to form a new partnership with Carabao, the first time the club has welcomed a new partner as its training-wear sponsor. He said Chelsea FC had 500 million followers throughout the world, half of them in Asia, including Southeast Asia and China. In Thailand, the club has about 6 million fans. Its goal is to increase the number of worldwide followers to 1 billion.

Peter Gutierrez, chief executive officer of Intercarabao, said the global energy-drink market had grown by 10 per cent annually over the past four to six years. This level of annual growth is expected to continue in the next four to five years.

"Thailand is only 3 per cent of the total population in the world. We have seen a very great potential [for] Carabao energy drink outside Thailand," he said.

"In Thailand, the energy drink is [targeted] exclusively at thrill-seeking young men, but in other potential markets around the world, such as the US and Europe, energy drinks can serve people if any age and gender."

Gutierrez said the company would choose the right marketing platforms to reach consumers worldwide, and soccer was one of them. This sport reaches more than 3.5 billion fans around the world. Soccer is also the most broadcast sport on television.

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