Premiership football is an international business and an international language. As UK travellers know, even where English isn't spoken, the names of our top players are known and exalted.
From waiters in Tehran to cab drivers in Shanghai, reciting the names of players along with appropriate hand gestures is what passes for declarations of friendship between our nations.
Now it was pointed out to me on Sunday during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool that the Carling sponsorship logo on the Liverpool strip was written in Chinese, in recognition of the huge following the game would be having in China. As chemical producers have long known, China is where the markets are.
Apparently the Chinese logo was a one-off marketing ploy as the game was expected to attract over 750 million viewers around the world and Chinese messages were displayed during the match on the LED perimeter advertising hoardings around the pitch at Anfield.
The messages read "Carlsberg is partner of Danish Pavilion in World Expo - Carlsberg & Liverpool Cheer for World Expo", according to this article. I'm sure my Singapore and Shanghai colleagues will be able to verify that.
Liverpool, which has been twinned with Shanghai since 1999, is the only UK city to be exhibiting at World Expo 2010. I'm very envious of my London colleagues who will be visiting Shanghai in May after APIC - that will be a sight to see. I hope they've got their hotel rooms booked.