Coventry could best raise its international business profile by getting its football team back into the Premiership, a leading business expert said.
Rohit Talwar, chief executive of London-based strategy firm Fast Futures, said promotion would be a way to ensure that the sub-region was put on the map worldwide.
He said: "Everywhere you go in India and China the sport is on the tip of people's tongues. There is no reason why Coventry couldn't do what Reading have done.
"The region needs to be in a position to attract interest from those markets and the job that football could do in achieving that cannot be understated."
Mr Talwar was speaking at the re-launch of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Economic Development Partnership.
The limited company, which aims to support and promote business in and around Warwickshire, will now be known as the Regeneration, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise Team (RITE).
Paul Fletcher, managing director of Coventry City FC and former chief executive of the Arena Company which runs the Ricoh Arena, said the football club would rise to the challenge. "Coventry City is a club that is very much looking forward," Mr Fletcher said.
"Moving to this magnificent new stadium in August has helped lay the foundations for the future of the football club as a business. The ambition is to be back in the Premiership in three years and we believe we are on target to meet that challenge.
"We are looking at every way increase revenue streams and get people to take interest in the football club.
"There is absolutely no doubt the positive impact it would have on the area economically."
Brian Woods-Scawen, chairman of Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership, said the sub-region had been a success-story for the West Midlands and had adapted to the rate of economic change over the past decade.
But he warned the worst was yet to come for UK business. "The world will become dangerous and unforgiving for those who are not ready to meet the changes of the technological, social and environmental world," he said.