by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – OLYMPIQUE Marseille (OM), the iconic French football club, and APO Group, the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, have announced a multi-year agreement, making the latter the soccer club’s first African partner.
OM Managing Director, Laurent Colette, and APO Group Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, sealed the partnership at the ceremony at the club’s Robert Louis-Dreyfus training ground on Friday (today).
“We have always seen ourselves as being a bridge to Africa,” said Laurent Colette, Managing Director of OM.
“The passion and vibrancy of African football is evident throughout our city and our team. APO Group shares our vision for OM Africa to be a beacon for all African football fans, and a way of supporting sporting development across the continent.”
The agreement makes APO Group the Official Partner of OM Africa.
“Olympique de Marseille is one of the most successful and enduring sporting organizations in the world,” said Pompigne-Mognard.
“No other major European football club dedicates as much time, energy and resource to Africa,” the APO executive added.
The city of Marseille itself is heavily influenced by diverse African cultures.
African football legends to have played for Marseille include Abedi Pelé, Didier Drogba and Mamadou Niang.
Support for the club is huge all over North and West Africa.
OM has ten dedicated fan-clubs operating in Africa, and more than 4 million African followers on social media, making up 38,7 percent of the club’s global fanbase.
OM Africa is a football development programme entirely dedicated to fans from Africa.
The club has established a football academy in Diambars, Senegal, while three OM Africa schools have been set up in Algiers (Algeria), Tunis (Tunisia) and Port-Harcourt (Nigeria).
Founded in 1899, the club has won 30 major trophies, including the UEFA Champions League in 1993.
It is widely regarded as the most popular team in France.
APO Group is the main official sponsor of Rugby Africa and an official sponsor of Team Qhubeka NextHash, the only professional African cycling team on the World Tour, and the annual Lux Afrique Polo Day.
It is also a strategic African partner of Getty Images, the most recognizable name in sporting imagery, and works closely with the National Basketball Association and the Basketball Africa League.
– CAJ News