The club has confirmed that this year's pre season trip will be to South Africa. I must admit to being disappointed in this choice. There remains a tremendous opportunity in the North American market where no one club has achieved any kind of serious penetration.
Given Garry Cook's Nike connections in the north west of the US and the phenomenal success of the new Seattle club in the MLS I was hoping that City would take a trip to the west coast of the US and specifically the north west.
Football is the primary youth sport in the US where towns form recreation leagues that play over ten to twelve week seasons. For example, an aggressive campaign to make City kits available to youth leagues, in combination with a national sponsor and Rupert Murdoch's Fox Soccer Channel, the broadcaster of the Premier league in the US, could make the Manchester City name the most recognizable team brand in the market.
Contrast this with South Africa. Certainly the nation is hosting the World Cup next year, but at only one seventh the size of the US population there is a reduced potential. I would be curious to hear the club's reasoning for the South Africa trip. There may be business and marketing forces at work that are not obvious from the outside.