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“Tickets for the game, sir ... do you need tickets?,” a man asked as we arrived at Anfield, the home ground of Liverpool FC.
The atmosphere was calm ahead of Sunday’s big match between hosts Liverpool and opponents, Arsenal.
On one of the walls of the stadium is the club’s logo with “The Kop” inscribed upon it. The Kop refers to one of the stand tribunes inside the stadium reserved for loyal fans.
A statue of Bill Shankly, a tribute to the club’s manager during a successful period in Liverpool’s history between the 1970s and 1980s, stands in front of the building welcoming the visitors with open arms.
Above the main entrance are images of the current team’s key players: Pepe Reina, Glenn Johnson, Martin Skrtel and captain Steven Gerrard.
Some television crew members were busy preparing for a live broadcast of the game in which both teams were looking for their first win after poor starts to the season.
The merchandise booth was closed but the store inside the stadium was open. Quite a few people were milling around searching out club memorabilia. A boot-room cafe is on the second floor, offering various eateries while the guests can watch the game via big TV screens.
Visitors can also learn about the club’s past glories in the Museum of Liverpool FC, which is located next to the cafe.
Inside the museum, five trophies of Europe’s most prestigious competition, currently known as the Champions League, are on display along with photographs of respective team lineups and coaches.
In one room, a viewing screen is dedicated to showing the club’s latest European glory in Istanbul in 2005. During the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan, Steven Gerrard and his teammates trounced the Italian club in a penalty shootout in what is hailed as one of the most amazing comebacks in soccer history after the English club went three goals down in
A large poster on the wall reads: “The Greatest Comeback: The Road to Istanbul”. It features all the victorious players, many of whom are now playing for other clubs, including Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso.
The club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” evokes the fans’ loyalty. However, the club’s supporters have been involved in two major tragedies. The first was the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, in which charging Liverpool fans caused a wall to collapse, killing 39 Juventus supporters. In the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives in a crush against perimeter fencing.
Liverpool may have experienced a dip in the past few years, but the club’s achievements, which include 18 League titles — the second-highest in English soccer; 7 FA Cups; a record 8 League Cups; 3 UEFA Cups; and 3 UEFA Super Cups, make it the most successful club among its English peers since it was established
That legacy has attracted national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia for its global marketing promotion, whose cooperation agreement will be signed in Liverpool on Monday.
“First, we see the English premiership, which offers more dynamism than other [prominent] European leagues, like Italy and Spain,” Garuda Indonesia’s president and CEO, Emirsyah Satar, said at the Hilton Hotel ahead of the Liverpool-Arsenal game.
Given Liverpool’s status as the most successful club in England, Garuda, Emirsyah said, jumped at the promotional chance the club offered to the airline.
“Among the top 10 in the EPL, only Liverpool and Chelsea have no airline partner. Besides the relatively cheaper financial value offered, the legacy is incomparable to any other team in England,” he said.
Its agreement with Liverpool highlights Garuda’s global campaign, which includes a plan to open new routes to Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris and Rome.
Garuda’s global ambitions have been highlighted by its agreement with Boeing to purchase 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, beginning
With further details yet to be disclosed pending Monday’s signing ceremony, the agreement will give Garuda space for promotional flashes during the matches at Anfield. The LED promotion will run 12 times in a match, each with a duration of 30 seconds.
The promotion at Anfield is expected to improve Garuda’s global branding, which may pave way for its worldwide expansion.