FA secures BT partnership

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BT has become the Official Communications Services Partner of St. George’s Park, the first of a select number of tiered blue-chip partners of The Football Association’s new National Football Centre, under development in Burton upon Trent.

In an exclusive five year, multi-million pound agreement, coaches, players and business users of St. George’s Park will all benefit from a state-of-the-art, bespoke, high-speed BT iNet voice and data network, plus BT Openzone Wi-Fi.

David Sheepshanks, Chairman of St. George’s Park, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome BT as a partner for the St. George’s Park development and their association with us is a ringing endorsement of its importance and its growing national identity.

“The buildings are taking shape at a rapid rate and you can now get a real sense of what an inspirational and special place it will be. St. George’s Park will be at the very centre of coach education and young player development and for The FA to be delivering its philosophy and agenda it needs the very best technology infrastructure and facilities. We look forward to working closely with BT.”

Graham Sutherland, managing director, BT Business, said: “We are very proud to support St. George’s Park and to help The FA develop the next generation of sporting greats. With the best communications technology at the heart of this project, English football can build a competitive advantage on the field.”

Rob Ray, Group Director of Digital & Information Technology at The Football Association, said: “St. George’s Park is designed to be cutting edge in every way and technology is a key component, making this partnership with BT all the more exciting. There is little doubt that they are best placed to deliver this expertise and we are delighted to be able to partner with them to enhance St. George’s Park’s status as a centre of sporting excellence.”

Close to one million visitors will use the St. George’s Park network over the term. Sponsorship rights have also been agreed.

BT is the Official Communications Services Partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, title sponsor of the BT Paralympic World Cup, and also sponsors the charity Football Aid. Three of Britain’s national stadia – Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Stadium and Hampden Park – have BT-installed technology, and BT Vision’s entertainment service provides live matches from the Barclays Premier League and live action from The FA Cup with Budweiser and the Football League. BT has more than 60 years experience in sports content delivery, and its media and broadcast services support The FA Cup, Wimbledon and Rugby Union, among 3,500 headline events, each year.

BT joins a growing list of commercial partners, headed by Lead Partner Umbro, as well as Hilton Worldwide. Construction of St George’s Park is already well underway and the centre is on-track to open in the summer of 2012.