Rangers are continuing their pioneering plans to move into world footballing markets with a forthcoming trip to the United States.
James Bisgrove, the Ibrox club’s Director of Commercial and Marketing, will take the trip across the pond with a view to meeting with other sporting brands over a range of matters.
Not least, the club will be looking to build commercial partnerships, explore how the Rangers brand can expand in North America and look at how the club can improve the Ibrox matchday experience.
The move comes after Rangers recently announced an exciting new partnership with Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC [Rangers] for the same reasons.
Bisgrove, who revealed to the Daily Record that the club is specifically targeting India and North America as regions of growth, will meet with the MLS and USL organisations as well as an unnamed NFL franchise.
The marketing boss appears very optimistic about the trip and the club’s wider strategy.
“The plan is to build our international strategy around North America and India moving forward,” said Bisgrove.
“The objective of the visit is to draw upon learnings and inspiration that can enhance and modernise the Ibrox stadium fan experience and discuss commercial partnership opportunities.
“We’re meeting a few clubs and with a few potential commercial partners to gauge the opportunities to build an audience there.
“We have a fantastic fanbase in Scotland and it must continue to be the focus, but there are opportunities internationally and that has been the nature of my experience before.
“We’ll be mostly on the west coast and hopefully when we return we can be a little more concrete.
“I don’t want to pre-empt anything until we’ve had those conversations, but it’s a signal of the club’s intentions to build our international network and fan base.
“We can look at the Bengaluru FC partnership as a model. It’s predicated on football, with soccer schools and academies, but it also has a commercial element that allows us to engage with audiences there.”
Bisgrove pointed to the pulling power that Steven Gerrard’s name in football has in developing these commercial partnerships, describing the Gers boss as an “asset”.
The ambitious director also discussed “cracking” India – a country with a population of 1.3bn – whilst other clubs wrestle for a stake in China.
It’s all very exciting and it appears all will become clear from the trip upon Bisgrove’s return.
But could all this talk of the west coast of the US have something to do with LA Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski’s recent trip to Ibrox?