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Mongolia’s Cultural Diplomacy Brings New Deals With Fulham FC, BBC

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Mongolia’s Cultural Diplomacy Brings New Deals With Fulham FC, BBC

Mongolia is thinking outside the box in its attempts to diversify its economy, especially by promoting the tourism sector.

Mongolia’s Cultural Diplomacy Brings New Deals With Fulham FC, BBC

Former Fulham FC goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer plays soccer with local schoolchildren at the Mongolian Football Federation stadium in Ulaanbaatar, June 9, 2024.

Credit: Fulham FC

Two new partnerships with a London-based Premier League football club and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) highlight Ulaanbaatar’s multi-pillared approach to promoting cultural diplomacy in a bid to increase economic diversity and tourism. 

In recent years, the United Kingdom and Mongolia have paid close attention to cultural relations. The partnership took a new step forward in early June, when Mongolia announced its partnership with the Fulham Football Club, the oldest team in London. The partnership entails sporting events, national branding, and aims to increase tourism.

The English Premier League is the most-watched sporting league in the world and is no stranger to Mongolian fans. Fulham’s managers and players are worth tens of millions of pounds. To Mongolia’s young and active population, having a direct partnership with a globally recognized league is an exciting development.

Moreover, as part of Mongolia’s strategy to boost tourism, the partnership with Fulham includes a year-long promotion of GoMongolia, a national tourism brand. 

According to the Fulham FC press release, the chief executive officer of Fulham FC, Alistair Mackintosh, said: “We are delighted to welcome GoMongolia as an Official Partner for the forthcoming 2024/25 season. During the term of this partnership, we will work closely with the Ministry of Culture of Mongolia to assist them with achieving their objectives. We are excited to soon be unveiling the training kit range featuring the GoMongolia brand.”

During the signing ceremony, former Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer modeled the new training uniforms with the GoMongolia logo, and played football with the children in attendance.

The new partnership between Mongolia and Fulham FC illustrates Mongolia’s efforts in diversifying its cultural relations while promoting a national brand, in the hopes of increasing tourism and global attraction. 

In addition, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is partnering with Mongolia to showcase the country’s tourism industry. The BBC launched “Meet Modern Mongolia,” a travelog to highlight Mongolia’s modern culture coupled with nomadic traditions. Furthermore, the BBC will stream documentaries, cultural events, and festivities to foster and increase Mongolia’s visibility to businesses, tourists, and investors. The Mongolia-BBC partnership can introduce global audiences to Mongolia’s history, culture, and modern society. 

Previously the BBC partnered with Mongolian news site to implement the 50:50 Equality Project, designed to increase women’s representation in the media.

In order to diversify Mongolia’s mining-dependent economy, the government and the private sector are required to think outside the box. Social media is also playing an a big part in Mongolia’s efforts to attract more tourists. Mongolia’s Ministry of Culture has utilized the social media digital space to promote and showcase cultural activities, national museums, and domestic and international events. 

According to Statista, social media usage is expected to increase in Mongolia: “The Social Media Advertising market in Mongolia is projected to grow by 4.15 percent (2024-2028) resulting in a market volume of US$18.9m in 2028.” Social media is part of the lifestyle of Mongolia’s young population. Having been exposed to the world via famous platforms such as Meta, Instagram, TikTok, and X, the younger generation is closely attached to these new platforms. Hence, social media usage will continue to play an important role in Mongolia’s economy and tourism, as well as the youth’s engagement with the rest of the world. 

From an economic perspective, Mongolia’s recent partnerships with Fulham FC and the BBC can help catalyze a new turn in Mongolia’s cultural diplomacy and soft power. With the digital transformation in mind, Mongolian officials and influencers are no longer tied to large-scale events to promote cultural activities. The new forms of Mongolia’s cultural “soft power” look to strengthen ties with global partners while establishing a robust social media strategy to reach new audiences around the world. These creative partnerships enable Mongolia to reach and attract innovative industries, tourism, and businesses, in the hope of promoting economic diversification.