Local fans are likely to get the opportunity to welcome English Premier League clubs outside the so-called Big Four after Big Cola extended its relationship with English football by becoming the official partner of four EPL sides, led by last season's FA Cup runners-up Stoke.

Big Cola, which boasted of remarkable success after striking a deal to sponsor the FA Cup, has increased its commitment to English football by tying up with Everton, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan and Stoke, the last of which the company says is "a coup of sorts".

Chanin Thiencharoen, the Ajethai marketing manager, hinted yesterday that Thai fans might be in for a treat in the form of a visit by one or more of the English quartet.
"Definitely, there is a possibility that the clubs will come to the country. The four teams we signed contracts with are not the "big" clubs, so it's easier to bring them here.

"Over the past few years, we have seen that many English clubs are eager to come to Asia, which has a large English Premier League fan base.

"However, we first need to find out which teams Thai fans want to see most," said Chanin.

Jorge Lopez Doriga, the Aje Group chief marketing executive, was confident that the one-year contract the company signed
with each of the teams for the upcoming season would be as successful as the existing FA deal.

"Asian supporters are really mad about English football.

"It's the same thing here in Thailand. We started by signing a three-year deal with the English FA [and] we are continuing our strategy of supporting England on the road to the Euro 2012 tournament next year.

"Then, we extended our FA deal by sponsoring the FA Cup, the oldest competition in club football. Earlier this year, we brought over the FA Cup trophy for Thai fans to see. We got a really good response.

"We now want to continue engaging with the English football by signing the deals with the four EPL clubs. We believe these contracts will give us further reach not only the Premier League but also in the FA Cup and Carling Cup.

"That would help us reach deeper into the English football, because Thai people are real supporters of English football and we want to be with them," said Doriga.


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