Manchester City have renewed their partnership with Chinese technology, content and services company BNN as the club looks to increase commercial opportunities in Asia with training clinics for fans and a presence on the country’s leading news outlet.
The agreement will see BNN work with City to developed coaching programmes, provide special VIP experiences for Chinese football fans and run exclusive content and competitions through the Xinhua News mobile app- the country’s biggest news outlet.
BNN’s Chinese operating partner, NewNet, will work with the club to manage a new programme intended to support grassroots football in China with four football clinics in Beijing and Hangzhou involving up to 144 players of 18 years old and over. An additional training clinic will take place over three days in June at City’s training complex in Manchester.
Through the Xinhua News app players will be able to put themselves forward for a place at one of the clinics and the individual with the most number of votes will be selected to attend with all expenses paid.
The expanded agreement will also see a range of club content hosted on the Xinhua News app, including manager interviews before games, pre-match press conferences, weekly news bulletin videos, weekly training footage and news articles. The hub will also run regular free-to-entre competitions with prizes including fully paid VIP trips to watch matches at the Etihad Stadium and exclusive signed merchandise.
City Football Group’s senior vice president of partnerships, Damian Willoughby, said BNN’s partnership would allow the club to play an active role in “the development of football in China” and “engaging with local fans in an innovative way”.
Darren Mercer, chief executive of BNN Technology, added: “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 our Chinese operating partner NewNet builds a programme that will help to improve grassroots playing standards throughout China”.