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Match Made in Hong Kong

Juventus Football Club finds that Hong Kong offers the perfect home base to reach its legions of fans across Asia.

Football is a game beloved across the globe, and Asia is home to some of the sport’s biggest fans. Italian club Juventus is one of football’s oldest and most prestigious powerhouses, with luminous celebrity players including Platini, Zidane, Nedved, Del Piero, Pirlo and Baggio, plus Ronaldo and Buffon currently in its first squad. To engage with supporters on a wider spectrum, the club extends its brand presence beyond football to be a lifestyle driver offering experiences in music, fashion, design, food and other content. 

Scoring fans in Asia

Juventus set up its Hong Kong office to cater to its Greater China and Southeast Asia fan base. “People always love a winning team and the club has a proud winning tradition across its history,” said Federico Palomba, Managing Director APAC of Juventus, adding that the club is the number one Italian brand on Instagram. “Mainland China’s connection with Juventus began in the 1990s when Serie A first appeared on television here. Our coverage is also very strong in Southeast Asia, with the largest fan base in Indonesia among all the top football clubs. We have a partner in Malaysia and several academies operating in Vietnam and Thailand. We also have two important global partners from Japan, which is another crucial market.”

Palomba feels that Hong Kong offers a strategic platform with an open environment that makes it convenient for overseas brands to set up new operations. Further, the latest government policy affirms the city’s commitment to sports development. “A fund has been earmarked for hosting major sporting events on a matching basis, and the government will continue to support the construction of Kai Tak Sports Park,” he noted. “The Hong Kong Sports Institute supports eligible elite sports as well as team sports. We see Hong Kong has the potential to grow its own sports ecosystem, with world class facilities and passionate people.” 

Juventus executes fan activation events such as first team matches in Singapore, Nanjing and Seoul, and against local professional team South China AA at Hong Kong Stadium. Other than physical events engagement, the club also plays their focus on digital space. “We put our fans in the centre of the digital ecosystem to provide unique, seamless experiences throughout all digital touch points globally,” said Palomba. “Our media factory in Turin together with local editors and agencies create content 24/7 — an ‘always on’ companion for our fans to discover latest stories in their local language in a familiar way.” 

Setting goals for local appeal

In the past year, the Hong Kong office is deep diving into local needs while building its team. Palomba believes that hiring local talent is beneficial as “candidates have Asian language skills, cultural understanding and Asian work experience with adaptability and stability. These ‘soft skills’ help smooth the transition for the new employee, increase business productivity and help root us to the local market.” 

Palomba is grateful for the support of InvestHK: “It is actually one of the reasons why we decided to establish in Hong Kong rather than other cities in the region. InvestHK has been supportive from the very beginning and they are our important partner to help our business grow.”

14.01.2021

Fast Facts

  • Based in Turin, Italy, Juventus Football Club was founded in 1897 and since 1923has been controlled by the Agnelli family, a global industrial and financial group
  • Established in 2019, its Hong Kong office focuses on marketing and business development to grow the club’s Asian fan base through innovative marketing and digital activities, partnership development and brand promotion

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