STAR: Chelsea ace Didier Drogba
THE BARBADOS Tourism Authority (BTA) and Chelsea Football Club have joined forces and signed a three-year deal.
The exclusive tourism partnership will help the BTA further promote the island of to a wider audience across three key territories - North America, the Caribbean and the UK.
Chelsea, who have some of the biggest football names in their ranks inclding Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole, will look to explore rolling out specific community football coaching programmes on the island and in the UK through the club’s award-winning charity, the Chelsea Foundation.
Barbados is fast becoming an outstanding sporting destination. With excellent on-island facilities coupled with the enthusiasm of its people, Barbados boasts the legacy of hosting a number of world-class sports events.
Such events included the 2006 PGA World Golf Championships, the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup Finals and the 2010 ICC Twenty20 Cricket Finals.
This year Barbados also hosted the inaugural Football Legends Invitational Tournament 2011. The event saw legends from seven Premier League clubs- with a Chelsea side including Gianfranco Zola, Gustavo Poyet, Frank Lebouef, Roberto Di Matteo and Ken Monkou- and one PFA all-star team compete at the Kensington Oval, the island’s famous cricketing arena.
FOOTBALL FRIENDS: The BTA's Petra Roach with (from left) Andrew Cole, Gianfranco Zola and Alan Shearer at the Barbados Legends Tournament press launch
Petra Roach, BTA vice-president sales and marketing UK, said: “This partnership is much more than getting our Barbados message out to Chelsea fans on matchday. We want to harness the charitable spirit of the club and work together on some exciting community projects both in Barbados and the UK.
“Barbados and Chelsea have a natural synergy as we both strive to be the best in our respective fields. It fits perfectly with our theme for 2012, The Year of Sport; from grass roots to world class, and we are building upon Barbados’ already strong reputation for sporting events and activities.”
Ron Gourlay, chief executive of Chelsea Football Club, said: “We are excited to be working together with the Barbados Tourism Authority. This is a great opportunity for us, using our excellent and award-winning CSR programmes, to engage with fans in the Caribbean who have a real passion for Chelsea and the Premier League.”