Europa draw gives Swansea chance to lift European profile
THE Swans' draw in the Europa League will show the city of Swansea off to even more audiences.
Michael Laudrup's team found out on Friday the opposition they will be playing in Group A of the competition, when they were drawn against Valencia, St Gallen and Kuban Krasnodar.
And Swansea Council is seizing on the opportunity to spread the word about what the city has to offer in their respective countries; Spain, Switzerland and Russia.
The authority's cabinet member for regeneration, Nick Bradley, said it would be making the most of social media to attract travelling fans to Swansea Bay and further put the city on the international map.
He said: "What a fantastic draw for the Swans and Swansea Bay as a region.
"Our profile in Scandinavia and South Korea is already huge because of Michael Laudrup and Ki Sung Yueng, but now more people in Spain, Switzerland and Russia will soon start hearing about Swansea Bay too — many for the very first time.
"The Swans already have especially strong links with Spain because of the Spanish players in the squad and Michael Laudrup's time with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Mallorca.
"Being drawn against Valencia could attract more Spanish visitors than ever to spend time here and we'll do what we can to encourage that through channels like Twitter and Facebook."
The draw means winger Pablo Hernandez will be returning to the club he signed from last year, when the team travels to Valencia, in what was a record deal for the club at the time.
It is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with a population of about 809,000. St Gallen has a population of about 160,000, while Krasnador is a city of about 745,000 people.
Mr Bradley added: "Some parallels between Valencia, in particular, can be drawn with Swansea Bay.
"It's also a waterfront city and, because of its football team and the European Grand Prix being held there, it's also known as a leading city of sport."