Will Chicago Bulls have more appeal to Leeds United fans?

Appealing to the masses: The Chicago Bulls basketball mascot jokes around with Justin Bieber.
Appealing to the masses: The Chicago Bulls basketball mascot jokes around with Justin Bieber.
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Some of the biggest sports clubs in the world have taken part in exhibition games and friendly matches around the globe for decades.

The Premier League’s most prominent clubs, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, have spent a vast amount of their pre-seasons trekking to destinations such as the Far East and the United States.

These trips not only offer huge financial incentives but also an invaluable opportunity for supporters to engage with their club in the flesh – a rare opportunity for those who live outside Europe.

But could we see the day when supporting a team based thousands of miles away becomes the norm?

If it does, then professor Simon Chadwick believes that clubs in the UK will face a challenge to attract supporters of tomorrow from engaging with clubs that have worldwide pull.

He said: “I think it’s entirely conceivable that by 2030, kids in Leeds instead of looking at Leeds United or Leeds Rhinos as their local team, could be supporting PSG or Chicago Bulls.

“That will be because their first point of engagement was with one of these global entities. It’s a big challenge for all sports teams – it’s becoming an incredibly competitive market.”