Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC have partnered with Boost, one of GSK's leading brands in the Health Food Drinks category to develop grassroots football in Bengaluru, the club announced on Tuesday. The association also marks Boost's coming on board with BFC as the club's 'official energy partner'.
The Blues will kick-off the partnership with the Boost-BFC Inter-School Soccer Shield â a flagship event of the club that enters its third edition. The tournament will feature 60 school teams across the U10, U12 and U14 age groups and will be held at the Bangalore Football Stadium, from January 23rd onwards.
While the tournament will be the anchor of the association, it also includes several development initiatives like the coach education program where coaches from participating teams are handed the opportunity to take part in the AIFF 'D' and AFC 'C' license courses, which will be conducted in the city for the first time. This apart, the association includes seminars educating the children and parents on various aspects of the sport like nutrition and psychology, along with a referee education programme in a bid to cover all aspects of the game.
The winning teams from each category will be awarded with the opportunity of a three-day training course with Bengaluru FC's licensed youth coaches.
On the association, Bengaluru FC COO Mustafa Ghouse said, "The BFC Inter-School Soccer Shield has been an integral and important part of the club's effort in taking the game to the grassroots. We're happy to have partners in BOOST, along with whom we have been able to make this edition one with a lot of value additions and bigger on every front."
Also present at the announcement was club and national team captain Sunil Chhetri who lauded the manner in which the tournament has grown. "I've been at Bengaluru FC for five years now and I have been following the Soccer Shield closely. It's very encouraging to see the new aspects that have been added to make this edition bigger and better than the previous ones. I wish I had as many opportunities when I was in school. It's a great opportunity that I am certain kids, coaches and parents would not let slip by."
Boost will be activating the partnership with its flagship property 'Play the Pros' where selected kids will get to play and learn from their favourite stars at an event in March 2018, and a child mascot program will provide the opportunity for the children to walk on the pitch with India's biggest football stars.
Elucidating on the partnership, Vikram Bahl, Area Marketing Lead, GSK Consumer Healthcare said, "Boost is known for its energy proposition which we have been bringing alive through its association with cricket and cricket superstars. While cricket continues to remain India's most loved sport, there are other sports like Badminton, Football, Tennis to name a few which are increasingly becoming popular and taking increasing share in sports conversations and action in the country. We felt it was the right time for us to extend our touch points beyond cricket and move forward with country's sports evolution to stay connected with kids through other endurance sports."
He further added, "We felt ISL is the right platform and Bengaluru FC is the right partner in our endeavour to join the Football revolution unfolding in the country over last few years. Through this partnership, we intend to take our communication platform 'Play the Bigger Game' beyond TV and give kids the opportunity to "Play with the Pros". The activation platform of 'Play the Pros' was launched in 2017 wherein our first association was with Chennai Open. This year we plan to take it forward with ISL and a couple of other popular sporting events that have the right fit for the brand. With this, I am confident that we will make the brand even more popular among the kids, which in turn will help continue the strong growth momentum on the brand."