EIC is confident of sustainable growth of the company after entering into the Sports business sector by securing a 30% stake of Sports Event International Ltd, (SEI). This investment is part of EIC’s long term strategy in the Sports industry, making the company a shareholder in Global Legends Academy (GLS Academy), the largest football academy in China. In addition, this investment also provides the company with a new revenue streams, from the Chinese government contract for football development, and from academy sponsors.
Mr. Bee Taechaubol, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EIC revealed that Global Legends Academy, a partnership between SEI and the Chinese Ministry of Education for the development of youth football in China, will begin operations in July 2016. In the initial stage of the project, SEI will be responsible for developing and implementing a football program for 600 schools in Beijing. Within the first year, the Chinese government has set an additional objective of expansion into other provinces, providing the GLS Academy program to over 26,000 schools in 40 cities, with a target of 20 million students. In the long term, the Chinese government has also expressed a desire to see the GLS Academy program eventually be provided to over 200 million youth players from 120 cities nationwide.
Global Legends Academy is the youth football development program agreement between SEI and the Chinese government, supported by the Ministry of Education, and has a duration of 8 years. The objective of this program is to improve the quality of youth players nationwide, by providing them with coaching from over 200 former footballing legends from the Global Legends Series, and providing China’s elite youth players with an opportunity to continue their development at over 40 different world class football clubs with connections to the GLS players and coaches.
In addition to the Global Legends Academy, SEI also holds the rights to other sporting properties such as World Football Fives (F5WC) and World Soccer 5’s, the largest amateur 5-a-side competition in the world, with over 1.3 million competitors from countries around the world. SEI is also owner of the Global Legends Series (GLS), a prestigious series of exhibition matches featuring world famous footballing legends such as Fabio Cannavaro, Luis Figo, Michael Owen, Hidetoshi Nakata, Paul Scholes, and Clarence Seedorf.