Chelsea FC have been finding that one of the better ways to make a bit of extra money is to tour places that don't regularly get the opportunity to see them play live during the pre-season. Last year they traveled across the Atlantic, the season prior they went to southeast Asia.
For the summer of 2013, they'll be returning to southeast Asia, making stops in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia:
The year's first match is against a Singha Thailand All-Star XI in the Singha Cup on Wednesday July 17 at the Rajamanagala National Stadium in Bangkok, which will act as a celebration of our partner's 80th anniversary.
We then travel to Kuala Lumpur to face a Malaysia XI at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday July 21.
We make our debut in Jakarta on Thursday July 25 against an Indonesia XI at the 88,000-seater Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, as we compete for the BNI Cup, marking our relationship with Bank Negara Indonesia, which has issued more than 60,000 Chelsea-branded payment cards since August 2012.
The last time Chelsea traveled to Asia for the pre-season, they won both the Champions League and FA Cup.
I think most of us were expecting to see Chelsea tour Asia, but I'm actually a bit surprised that the trip didn't include a stop in China. With the growing football watching populations of both China and India, getting as much exposure in those countries would make a ton of sense from a marketing standpoint.
Congratulations to any of you fans out there who happen to be living where you can catch one of these matches. Since it is a non-Euro/World Cup summer, you'll likely be seeing the full squad.