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The Power of Sport: FC Barcelona and UNICEF Expand Advocacy and Fundraising

Summary

By: Montserrat Povill, UNICEF

In 2009, Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB) continued its commitment of €1.5 million per year, with expectations of reaching its €7 million mark in 2011. By partnering with a leading, globally respected sports club such as FCB and with a support base of millions, along with the ability to target men and young audiences, UNICEF embraces the unique opportunity to tap into the power of sport and football stars to help mobilize resources and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS…

Since 2006, FCB has featured the UNICEF logo on its team jersey – the only time in the club’s 110-year history and an unprecedented gesture in the world of football. It is an honored donation valued in 2009 at €25 million per season. This commitment to UNICEF and the world’s children reinforces FC Barcelona’s motto, ‘More Than a Club’.

The UNICEF / FC Barcelona alliance strategically harnesses the power and potential of sport to raise funds and awareness around HIV/AIDS at the international, national and local level towards achieving the Millenniums Development Goals (MDGs). UNICEF’s Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS global campaign aims to ensure that children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic are an integral part of the global AIDS response.

FC Barcelona’s funding will improve children’s lives in Swaziland, the country estimated to have the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in the world. Education and sports programs will be strengthened to provide better protection, care and support for orphans and vulnerable children. These same programs and other outreach efforts will raise public awareness to limit the spread of AIDS. Children and their mothers will have improved access to life-saving drugs to prevent transmission of HIV and dangerous opportunistic infections of the virus, including access to life-prolonging anti-retroviral treatment.

FC Barcelona President, Joan Laporta, was presented with the Spirit of Sport Award in recognition of the partnership with UNICEF in April 2007. Every year, the Laureus World Sports Awards honors the globe’s best sportsmen and sportswomen and celebrates the universal power of using sport as a tool for social change. The Spirit of Sport Award acknowledges those in sports who take action to create a better world.

“At FC Barcelona, we are aware of the global dimension of soccer. The increasing number of FC Barcelona supporters and fans around the world in the last few years has been spectacular. The club has an obligation to respond to this enormous positive wave. The best way to do so is by using soccer as a tool to bring hope to millions of vulnerable children in need around the world”, said Mr. Joan Laporta, President of Futbol Club Barcelona.

For more information, please contact: Montserrat Povill, Corporate Fundraising Specialist, UNICEF.