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49ers to use Leeds United ownership to bolster marketing in U.K.

49ers Enterprises' stake in EPL club Leeds United has given 49ers ownership a "bit of equity to work with as they bring their American football brand across the Atlantic," according to Jason Notte of ADWEEK. The NFL played 30 games in London at three different stadiums between '07 and '21, and the 49ers’ owners "thought so much of the place," that they "bought a 15% minority stake" in the Yorkshire-based Leeds United. They will "own Leeds United outright" by '24. The changes brought about by the 49ers joining the club's ownership "paid off" in '20, when Leeds "returned to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years." Now 49ers CMO Alex Chang also "sees potential" in Yorkshire for the football team as it takes advantage of the international business rights for the U.K. granted by the NFL. He and the 49ers observed that the other five teams heading to the U.K., and even the NFL itself, "focus heavily on the NFL International Series host sites in London." With Leeds and surrounding Yorkshire well north of London, the 49ers plan to "take advantage of that distance and focus on their NFL-bereft region." Leeds already has "much of that ground covered by its roster of sponsors." 49ers CRO Brent Schoeb noted that the team's games in the U.K. and Mexico will "make it easier to bring new partners aboard" (ADWEEK.com, 1/14).

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