In August 2013, Tottenham Hotspur announced a partnership with AIA Group Limited (AIA) which saw the brand become Official Cup Shirt Partner for the 2013/2014 season. This was followed by a further announcement in February 2014, as AIA increased its association with Spurs with a five-year partnership as Official Shirt Partner.
Tottenham Hotspur is one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League with over 170 million followers across Asia & Oceania, including around 45 million in China. AIA is the biggest insurance group in the Asia-Pacific region, with a significant presence in 17 markets where it provides services for more than 28 million people and over 16 million participating groups.
This long-term partnership provides a platform for both organisations to work together to grow brand awareness in key markets across the Asia-Pacific region. AIA's brand on the Club's shirt is seen around the world through the Premier League's 212 broadcast territories, in addition to the thousands of other media platforms that cover Tottenham Hotspur fixtures. To support the growth of AIA's own base of customers across Asia, the Club has also become a key component of AIA's future marketing and customer engagement strategies.
Why is grassroots football in China a key focus for AIA?
Football is the most followed sport in the world and its profile in China has never been greater.
Over the next few years AIA will look to develop the infrastructure of Chinese youth football with the support of Tottenham Hotspur’s Global Coaching team. One of AIA’s goals in China is to increase participation in football and ultimately improve the standard of sport in the region.
What kind of activity has AIA done in China in 2014?
1. Football Dream
Tottenham Hotspur and AIA were both involved in the second season of Football Dream, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at developing China’s future footballing talent. AIA sponsored the second series of Football Dream which will be broadcast later this year on Chinese television. Both Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan were involved in 2014 to provide expertise through Club Legends and coaches in order to promote football development.
2. Great Wall of China Trek
In October 2014, the AIA China Youth Football Development project was officially launched in conjunction with the China Youth Development Foundation and Tottenham Hotspur. This project aims to improve the level of youth football in China and help promising young Chinese footballers to realise their dream. The first fundraising programme of this project was the AIA Great Wall of China Trek where two teams of AIA employees and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation participants trekked 46 kilometres along the Great Wall. The trek was led by International Technical Co-ordinator and Spurs legend Steffen Freund.
3. AIA Football Training Camp
In August, 37 children from Qingyuan city and Guangzhou were invited to the “International Football Stars Charity” event. Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King, and Club coaches Tony Tillbrook and Ross Embleton ran a training course for the participants.
In November 2014, the AIA Youth Football Development project launched a ‘ Coach the Coaches’ programme with rural P.E. Teachers in Shanghai. AIA Non-Executive Chairman Edmund Tse and CEO Mark Tucker both attended the launch with representatives from Spurs and the China Youth Development Foundation. This programme aims to provide professional training to improve the education level of Chinese football. 40 P.E teachers from rural areas of Jiangsu, Sichuan, Hebei and Guangdong all participated in the two-day training programme.
Which Spurs legends visited China in 2014 with AIA?
Ledley King, Ossie Ardiles, David Howells, Gary Mabbut and Steffen Freund.
What is being planned for 2015?
In 2015, AIA will continue to help the development of Chinese football, particularly amongst a youth audience. AIA will work closely with Tottenham Hotspur to continue the good work of the AIA China Youth Football Development Fund. Spurs legends and coaches will work together to make a positive impact within the region by offering opportunities for football participation. As part of the project, AIA has invited two youngsters from deprived areas in China to White Hart Lane for a memorable experience at the Leicester City match in March. This will serve to further promote the AIA Youth Football Development Fund both in China through the significant exposure of the Premier League across the region.
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