LONDON (November 29, 2012)– Love Football, the YouTube-based global football channel, and Grassroot Soccer (GRS),an international charity that uses the power of soccer in the fight against AIDS, announced a partnership that will promote awareness and support of GRS’s educational programs in Africa via the Love Football channel. Launching on World AIDS Day, December 1st, and continuing through the month of December, Love Football will feature Grassroot Soccer content, information, and images along with their usual videos, as well as a call-to-action with simple ways for viewers to support the charity’s work.
Grassroot Soccer empowers young people by using the universal language of soccer to educate youth about HIV prevention and to provide communities with access to HIV testing and treatment options. According to UNAIDS, there are approximately 2340 new HIV infections globally per day among young people ages 15-24. Founded in 2002 by four professional soccer players, GRS trains local and community leaders and professional soccer players as coaches who serve as role models while teaching and motivating young people to adopt healthy behaviors. To date GRS has empowered 545,000 young people with life-saving knowledge and skills; by World Cup 2014, they aim to educate 1 million. GRS has a global reach, with a particular emphasis on areas where AIDS has had a significant impact on communities, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe.
The Love Football YouTube channel is a top online destination for coverage of world soccer action, including Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, US Major League Soccer, Brazil’s Serie A and the Championship, FA Cup and Football League cup from England. The channel was launched in August 2012 by international media company MP & Silva, working with online video specialists Rightster. In just four months the channel has had 25,000 subscriptions and has had 6,700,000 views. A truly digital platform, Love Football keeps adding an average of 6000 new subscribers per month with 17% of their views coming from mobiles.
The partnership between Love Football and GRS came to life through MP & Silva, a leading international media rights company that provides digital high-quality clips of soccer content to Love Football. MP & Silva has a corporate social responsibility initiative called Play for Change, which leverages the company’s global media network and sporting connections to support charities changing the lives of young people. Kasia Szmit, Head of Play for Change, MP & Silva, said: “We are thrilled to have been responsible for introducing GRS to Love Football. This is exactly where the strength of Play for Change lies – creating opportunities through media exposure to leverage sports charities that provide education and life enhancing opportunities for children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Video distribution and monetization specialist Rightster has lent key support to the initiative, integrating the Grassroot Soccer message into the existing Love Football platform. John Dillon, VP Marketing, Rightster, said: “As a key digital solution partner of Love Football, Rightster’s team was delighted to donate our time and creativity to collaborate with this initiative. We are certain that GRS’s message and appeal will get the attention of all Love Football subscribers and viewers. The whole channel will be dressed by GRS images, videos and messages throughout the month of December.”
Through this partnership, Love Football and Grassroot Soccer hope to bring awareness of the AIDS issue to a broad audience and highlight the key role that the world’s most popular game can play in changing the course of the epidemic. GRS Founder and CEO Tommy Clark commented: “We are thrilled about this partnership with Love Football, because we know the world soccer community will understand the power of the game, and we are eager for them to see how GRS is using this to change lives and create opportunities for youth to become leaders in the fight against AIDS. GRS is grateful to both MP & Silva and Rightster for their support.”
About Love Football
Love Football is a new football channel on YouTube with around 25,000 subscribers. It’s part of the digital partnership between MP & Silva, Rightster and YouTube, with 17% of its 2 million views per month coming from mobiles. Love Football is the official platform to showcase football highlights of the best international football leagues around the world. Clips of Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, Bundesliga, MLS and Brazilian Championship are part of channels’ soccer content. Visit www.youtube.com/lovefootball
About Grassroot Soccer
Grassroot Soccer is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and empower communities to stop the spread of HIV. Grassroot Soccer envisions a world mobilized through soccer to create an AIDS-free generation. GRS has programs in multiple countries with flagship sites in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Founded by four professional soccer players, Grassroot Soccer is mobilizing the most vulnerable population of youth ages 12 – 19 to break the cycle of AIDS by engaging local coaches who equip young people with the knowledge, skills and support they need to avoid HIV. For more information visit www.grassrootsoccer.org
Rightster is a leading cloud-based video distribution and monetisation specialist that enables rights holders and producers, such as ITN, BFC (British Fashion Council) and IMG Fashion to gain full control and visibility over their video distribution, maximising their audience reach and revenues across all platforms and publishers from newspapers such as Mail Online to premium blog sites. Rightster’s turnkey services, such as audience development, remove the in-house complexity of managing technology and integration with publishers and platforms. This gives rights holders and producers the quickest and easiest route to market, as well as the flexibility to experiment and innovate with new digital services and revenue models for both live streaming and video on demand. For more information visit www.rightster.com.