Sunderland AFC continues to strengthen its links with the African continent and Tanzania in particular, following the signing of a ground-breaking business partnership, which sees the country become the ‘Official Destination Partner’ of Sunderland AFC.
Tourism is a key factor in the upward growth of the Tanzanian economy and the partnership aims to use the global reach of the Barclays Premier League to promote the country as a tourist destination. Premier League football is watched in over 200 countries, with accumulative audience of a phenomenal 4.7 billion, making it the most watched sporting league in the world.
Located in Central East Africa with about 1,400km of coastline along the Indian Ocean, Tanzania is renowned for some of the most stunning natural wonders of the world, including the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest free-standing mountain in the world - and Ngorongoro Crater – aUNESCO World Heritage Site.
SAFC has already developed close links with Tanzania, through providing technical and practical support to the development of the football academy project, the first of its kind in the country. The project will see thousands of youngsters benefit from a joined up approach combining football, education and community engagement, harnessing the knowledge and expertise of Sunderland AFC and its own successful Academy.
Sunderland AFC Chief Executive, Margaret Byrne, said: “We are delighted to further strengthen our links with Tanzania with this exciting new partnership.
“We are very much looking forward to working with the people of Tanzania to promote their beautiful country to a wider audience and to also support the development of its football infrastructure.”
Honorable Ambassador Khamis S. Kagasheki, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said:
"Tanzania is delighted to be partnering with Sunderland AFC in this exciting partnership, promoting Tanzania as a place to visit. Tanzania enjoys some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and is proud to be the home of three of Africa’s natural wonders, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. This partnership will provide an unrivalled opportunity for us to showcase Tanzania to the world.”
Managing Director of the Tanzanian Tourism Board, Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, said:
“The Tanzanian Tourist Board is pleased to be working in partnership with Sunderland AFC, a club with a growing reputation in Africa. We recognize the power of the Barclays Premier League in terms of global reach and aim to utilize this passion to showcase Tanzania and what we have to offer.
“Our largest proportion of visitors are generated from the UK and we look forward to working with Sunderland AFC to grow this over the coming years."
Sunderland AFC has established itself as one of the most recognised English clubs across Africa in recent seasons. SAFC linked-up with Invest in Africa in January 2012, affording a springboard to the ground-breaking not-for-profit initiative to promote Africa as a leading investment destination and actively challenge misconceptions about investing in the continent.
Further developing its links with the continent, the club announced recently the BFS Group Limited as its new principal partner from season 2013-14. BFS Group is the main UK operation of The Bidvest Group Limited, which is headquartered in South Africa.
His Excellency Dk. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Paul Hinks, CEO of Symbion Power visited Sunderland recently, witnessing first-hand the ground-breaking work of the club’s charity, Foundation of Light, as well as touring the club’s state-of-the-art training base, the Academy of Light.
SAFC also became the first football club in the world to form a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation last season.