Manchester City and BNN Technology – a London-listed Chinese technology, content and services company – announce an expanded partnership deal. The partnership is a bid to support grassroots football in China. Helping to raise coaching standards in the country. The agreement significantly expands the commercial relationship announced in January 2015. Focusing on developing coaching programmes, delivering unique content, providing VIP experiences for Chinese football fans and offering competitions through the Xinhua News mobile app.
Manchester City has one of the largest social media followings in China, with more than eight million followers on Sina Weibo, the major Chinese microblogging website. BNN remains committed to delivering social participation programmes that build on the company’s longstanding operations in China and enhance the lives of the country’s citizens.
BNN’s Chinese operating partner NewNet will work with City to manage a new programme of four football clinics in China. Involving up to 144 players of 18 years old and over. The four clinics for 2017, will represent 48 hours of dedicated coaching time with three official coaches from the Club’s City Football Schools programme. To take place during May in Beijing and Hangzhou. A further football clinic for 32 players will take place over three days in June at City’s world-class, state-of-the-art training complex in Manchester. Where two coaches will lead a total of 18 hours of training.
“Manchester City is delighted to grow its partnership with BNN. They share both our commitment to playing an active role in the development of football in China, and engaging with local fans in an innovative way. The Club already has a strong and growing presence in China and this partnership will help us amplify our activity in the country even further,” says Damian Willoughby, Senior VP of Partnerships at City Football Group.
Players can win places at the clinics through a free-to-enter competition hosted on BNN’s Manchester City microsite within the Xinhua News App. The competition is open to all, regardless of ability, based on a nomination process. Players can nominate themselves or by others. The individuals with the greatest number of votes will be selected to attend the clinics, with all expenses paid.
“I am delighted that we are expanding our relationship with Manchester City, one of Europe’s top clubs, to help BNN play a wider role in supporting China’s football ambitions while also delivering first class content to the Xinhua News app and gaining further high quality data to support our other sales channels. City’s expertise and input will be hugely valuable as BNN builds a programme that will help to improve grassroots playing standards throughout China. We firmly believe that football is a powerful force for promoting social engagement, enriching day-to-day lives and, in turn, strengthening the base of our consumer focused operations,” said Darren Mercer, Chief Executive of BNN Technology.
The expanded agreement also allows BNN to provide a range of Club content to the Xinhua News app. Including manager interviews before games, pre-match press conferences, weekly news bulletin videos, weekly training footage and news articles. Additionally, Chinese fans will be offered opportunities to win. Free-to-enter prize draws and fully paid VIP trips to watch matches at the Etihad Stadium and exclusive merchandise such as jerseys and signed footballs.