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Barcelona to open New York office to increase business in United States

Barcelona's growth across the globe is set to continue with the opening of a new office in New York next week.

The Catalan club moved into Hong Kong two years ago to develop their links with the Asian market and now hope to increase their business in the American market by venturing into the United States.

Further down the line there are also plans to embark on similar projects in China and South America, particularly in Brazil.

A statement released by Barca explained that their Park Avenue base in New York will act as a "commercial hub for generating new revenue and implementing the strategic plan for the 2016-2021 period, one of the main targets of which is to achieve a turnover of €1,000 million."

The statement added: "This new presence in New York will lead to major commercial activity in the territory, following on from the operations conducted from the office in Hong King that caters for the Asian market, opened in 2014. The club will now be commercially active all around the world on a 24/7 basis."

The new Barca offices are due to open on Sept. 6, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and former player Ronaldinho in attendance.

Barca are not the first of Europe's elite football clubs to expand into the United States, with German champions Bayern Munich launching their own New York office two years ago

Meanwhile, there has also been a recent push from La Liga to boost the Spanish league's appeal in the United States.

Former Real Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez, who had been playing for New York Cosmos, was appointed as the division's country manager in the United States -- a promotional job which involves helping to keep growing La Liga's international revenues.

Barca's New York office will be run by Manel Arroyo, the vice-president responsible for the club's marketing and communications area.

"Two years after opening an office in Hong Kong, the Manhattan office provides us with the structure we need," Arroyo said. "Now, for the first time and more than ever, we shall be in the two biggest markets -- Asia and America -- on a permanent basis and with the tools we need to consolidate our position as a global entity.

"New York will not be the last office that we open. We fervently believe that we need a greater presence in China and the southern cone of South America. Brazil is one of our strategic targets and we are sure that these new supports will be decisive for sustaining the club's position among the top three sports clubs in the world."

Barca already count on sponsorship from a number of American companies, including Nike, Gatorade, Stanley Black & Decker and Gillette.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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