Image Source: Juan Felipe Gómez
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

FC Barcelona scores Chinese grassroots partnership via London-listed tech firm

London-listed Chinese tech, content and services company BNN Technology has partnered with FC Barcelona (FCB), one of the biggest and most successful football clubs in the world.

Via BNN’s partner NewNet on Xinhua News app, the collaboration enables NewNet to distribute some FCB content such as club news, access to enter competitions and games through the sports section of its mobile app.

Moreover, NewNet will run a series of football camps each season in China, where over 300 young Chinese amateur football players will be trained by fully qualified FCB coaches to hone technique, tactical awareness and fitness.

One of these camps will be held at Barcelona’s official training centre, where Chinese participants will experience world class professional coaching right in the heart of Spanish football. As part of the agreement, BNN will also take a group of participants to a match at Barcelona’s renowned stadium, Camp Nou.

All the action from the football camps and official FCB original content will be captured and available on the Xinhua News app, delivered by NewNet. Prospective football camp participants, friends, families, and fans can register to access exclusive football camp content and related information on Xinhua News app. The content will go live in early 2017.

For the first time in Asia, two of FCB’s former stars - defender Eric Abidal and midfielder Gaizka Mendieta - attended the partnership signing ceremony held today in Beijing, China.

Abidal (‘07’-‘13), who famously lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2011 at Wembley Stadium, and Mendieta (’ 02-‘03), a two-time winner of the UEFA Club Best Midfielder Award, greeted attendees at today’s ceremony, as well as demonstrated their legendary skills to celebrate the partnership.

The partnership underscores BNN’s commitment to supporting grassroots football in China, by delivering social participation programmes that build on the company’s longstanding operations in the country.

Darren Mercer, Chief Executive of BNN Technology, said: “I am thrilled that Barcelona, one of the world’s best football clubs, has chosen BNN Technology as their official regional partner in China to support grassroots football in the country.

“China has real ambition to be a global leader in football, and communities and schools in provinces up and down the country are at the beginning of a fascinating football journey.

“We are proud to be contributing to a project of national importance at a formative stage, and to enrich lives by encouraging both grassroots and top-level involvement in this beautiful game is something I am particularly proud that BNN Technology is part of.”

Xavier Asensi, Managing Director of FCB APAC, said: “It is a great honour to welcome BNN Technology and NewNet into our APAC, and specifically China, family.

“We have more fans in China than any single other country around the world and so are delighted that this partnership with BNN and NewNet allows us to get closer to millions of our supporters.

“We are looking forward to the partnership programme on Chinese soil kicking off and hope that our fans, and all Chinese citizens, can enjoy and benefit from it.”

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