EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey believes taking the Carabao Cup back on tour has been a resounding success, after the 2018/19 Round One Draw was conducted in Vietnam.
Joining the tour were Carabao Cup ambassadors Steve McManaman, Dennis Wise and Louis Saha, who visited local landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City and trained with aspiring young footballers in the build-up to Friday’s draw.
It is the second successive season that Carabao Cup draws have taken place overseas, with events being staged in Bangkok and Beijing last season as part of the EFL’s continued efforts to build the value of the competition outside the UK.
A principle aim since launching the partnership with Carabao was to promote the Carabao Cup and the EFL on the international stage, and Harvey claims the latest trip has done exactly that.
“We’ve been massively well received everywhere we go,” said Harvey, following Friday’s draw. “We’ve been able to promote both the EFL and the Carabao Cup – this part of the world is just football crazy, and arriving at the same time the World Cup is on has only magnified that. There are lot more people aware of the EFL now than there ever was before.
“We agreed when we took Carabao on as our international sponsor that we would look to try to and create events around the draws. Carabao have some really key territories; the Carabao UK business benefits every single week from the competition and the partnership with the League, and this benefits us by increasing our profile internationally – it’s a win-win situation.”
“Previously, the draw took place in an office in Preston, clubs were informed and it was a very low-key start to the season. We’ve created something where people are looking forward to what’s actually happening.
“If the EFL is to grow, we have to grow outside of the UK. We’ve always been strong with 18million fans coming through our turnstiles but we do have to do that bit extra, we do have to push boundaries. If we don’t, then we won’t make a difference. That comes with it’s challenges from time to time, but we’re building our profile.”