CORRECTED-Soccer-Brazil's Gremio to seek new revenue opening restaurants

Thu Feb 6, 2014 7:00am EST

(Amends Gremio world title to one in 1983)

SAO PAULO, Feb. 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian first division club Gremio are to open their own chain of fast food restaurants in a bid to diversify and bring in cash to sign new players.

The Porto Alegre side, club world champions in 1983, hope to sell as many as 90 franchises at between $80,000 and $270,000 over the next five years. The first is due to open in April.

"In a country where 37 percent of spending is on food eaten outside the home, we needed a new product that would help us with the fact we have the most fanatical fans in Brazil," Beto Carvalho, Gremio's marketing manager, told the club's website (www.gremio.net).

Fans voted in an online poll to call the restaurants Hamburgueria 1903 in reference to the year the club was founded.

The decor will be in the club's colours of blue, black and white.

Other teams are in talks to open similar club-themed restaurants, said Fernando Ferreira, head of Pluri, a sports marketing firm that developed the idea with Gremio.

More than 20 million Brazilians have been lifted from poverty in the last decade and they have more money to spend on luxuries such as food, travel and consumer goods.

(Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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