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To celebrate the UEFA Champions League final, official sponsor MasterCard today revealed a new breed of football fans who, in Europe, are collectively spending a staggering €35 billion each season supporting clubs from foreign countries, proving that witnessing history truly is priceless.
The new and growing breed of European football fan 'Fans Without Borders' are identified in a report by MasterCard and the European Business School (EBS). Whether it's funding their overseas match attendance and PayTV subscriptions or buying merchandise, Fans Without Borders notch up a combined spend per season that would fund the construction of 100 Allianz Arena stadiums, or buy 372 Cristiano Ronaldo's or even 562 Fernando Torres'.
"MasterCard's study examines the shifts in football fan behaviour and looks at how changes in the way fans are affiliating themselves to clubs impact on their spending. It's fascinating to see fans using new ways, like adoption of foreign clubs, to get even closer to the game and enjoy more priceless football moments," said Hany Fam, President Strategic Partnerships and Market Development, MasterCard Europe
The results, released ahead of this year's UEFA Champions League final which will see FC Bayern Munich face Chelsea FC at the Allianz Arena, Munich on Saturday May 19th, show one quarter of Europe's football faithful (41 million) are classed as Fans Without Borders, with FC Barcelona the most popular foreign team (29%), followed by Real Madrid CF (10%) and Manchester United FC (8%).
For more information on the leisure market, see the latest research: Leisure Market Research
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