Television

Star to host Premier League movement on 2 & 3 March, legend Alan Shearer to participate

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MUMBAI: The Football Movement, jointly hosted by India On Track, is being held in partnership with the Premier League’s Indian broadcast partner Star Sports. The conference will bring British and Indian football organisations and businesses together to discuss ways to continue to grow the sport in India.

The UK businesses and Premier League football clubs including Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City, Southampton and Watford will attend the meet.

The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) together with India on Track (IOT) and the Premier League will bring key British and Indian football clubs, sports organizations and businesses together at the second holding of ‘The Football Movement’ conference in Mumbai.

This football conference, which takes place on 2 & 3 March , will give a platform to clubs, businesses and experts from India and the United Kingdom to interact and explore commercial opportunities in the sport.

The Football Movement, jointly hosted by India On Track, is being held in partnership with the Premier League’s Indian broadcast partner Star Sports. This two-¬‐day conference will feature keynote speakers including Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League, St.John Gould, Director for UK Trade and Economics, India at the British High Commission and senior representatives of the Indian Super League and Premier League clubs. Panel sessions, workshops and keynote speeches will provide a platform for UK and Indian businesses to discuss potential opportunities and the sustainability of the game in India’s emerging football sector.

A delegation of UK businesses and top British football clubs are participating in the conference as part of DIT’s ‘Sport is GREAT’ campaign. The delegation includes top football companies such as; Amaven, Alad, Baltic Publications, Final Third Sports Media, PwC, Deltatre, AVC Immedia, Barriers International India, Steer Davies Gleave and senior management from the following clubs; Arsenal, Southampton, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and Charlton Athletic.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Strengthening the Football Ecosystem in India’. It will focus on the broader aspects of the game, with a view to assessing the current landscape in greater detail. The conference seeks to address the core pillars of modern-¬‐ day football such as commercial sustainability, youth development, leagues and competitions, broadcasting, support services as well as the role of corporates through CSR.

St.John Gould, Director for UK Trade and Economics, India at the British High Commission, New Delhi will deliver the welcome address at the conference, which will be attended by distinguished panelists and speakers, including industry leaders, policy-¬‐ makers, investors, and pioneers in the field of commerce of football, from both India and the UK.

St. John Gould said: “As someone who spends a huge chunk of his waking hours thinking about the ‘the beautiful game’, this conference is very exciting. But I am not just a fan, with a cold-eyed business approach; this is one of India’s boom areas. There is a rapid growing interest in football in India. The Premier League dominates the screens and is avidly followed. The huge success of the Indian Super League has captured the imagination of the next generation of Indians and they now look at football as a serious sport. UK football wants to be part of that. I am delighted to welcome the Premier League, clubs, business, experts and legends to India.”

“From cutting – edge sports technology to skills, we want to bring the best of British football to India and use this conference to explore opportunities for collaboration”

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: “Football continues to grow apace in India and the Football Movement conference will provide an excellent opportunity to knowledge share with local clubs and leagues, and to meet businesses interested in contributing to the growth of the sport.”

“At the Premier League, we and our clubs are committed to supporting the development of all levels of Indian football. At the top end of the sport we have a co-¬‐operation agreement with the Indian Super League, and at grassroots level our Premier Skills programme works across the country to provide opportunities for local coaches and referees to take AIFF accredited courses. The Football Movement conference will provide a great platform for us to discuss with other football bodies and businesses how we might work together to further grow all elements of the sport. I am looking forward to attending.”

"Football is at an inflection point in India driven by a passionate and young fan base. The deep fan affinity for the Premier League and the mass following of the Indian Super League all point to a great future for the sport in India. Our vision of a day when Indian fans would have their own home-¬‐grown heroes to follow is soon going to be a reality. The ‘Football Movement' is a great opportunity for stakeholders from across the ecosystem to unify and collaborate to take Football in India to fulfil that vision, said Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director of Star India, the Premier League’s official broadcast partner in India, who will also be speaking at the event.

India On Track founder and CEO Vivek Sethia added:
“Indian Football has seen a seismic shift in its positioning in the sports ecosystem in India in the last 3 years with the emergence of the Indian Super League (ISL). We are now at the cusp of a new phase in the country’s footballing journey and to ensure its continued growth, we need to lay down strong foundations by creating a sustainable support ecosystem that will keep pace with the rapid growth of the game.”

The Indian delegates will get an opportunity to meet English footballing legend and the Premier League’s all-¬‐time top goal scorer (260 Premier League goals), Alan Shearer, who will present a special address at the conference.

Alan Shearer said: “I’ve seen the power football has to bring communities together all over the world, whether through playing or coming together to watch the sport. It’s fantastic to see the growing interest in the Premier League in India and I hope that The Football Movement will identify opportunities and help establish partnerships that will contribute to the continued development of the local game.”

The Premier League trophy will be on display at the conference and delegates will have the chance to have their photograph taken next to the silverware.

The Football Movement is also part of the UK/India Year of Culture 2017 a major celebration of bilateral cultural exchange, jointly organized by the UK Government and Government of India.

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