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Prestigious award for Premier League

Wed 21st Apr 2010 | Football Governance

The Premier League has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.

The Premier League has been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for its outstanding contribution to international trade, and the value that it brings to English football and the UK broadcasting industry.

This is the first time the Premier League has won the Award, the highest official UK awards for British business, and is one of around only 100 businesses to receive the accolade, given on the Queen's official birthday every year. The International Trade Award recognises substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success at outstanding levels over three consecutive 12-month periods from 2007 to 2009.

Following recommendation from the Prime Minister, the Premier League was conferred the Queen's Award for Enterprise primarily for the sale of television rights to foreign broadcasters and doubling overseas income from £108m per annum in 2007 to £250m per annum in 2009. This achievement reflected a highly effective marketing strategy utilising open tender processes and delivery of the broadcast output by local rights holders. Income is drawn from 211 territories in every continent across the globe as all 380 Barclays Premier League matches are broadcast in over 500 million homes.

Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, said: "The Queen's Award for Enterprise is valued recognition for the investment that creative industries like ours put into developing original content and the successful part that football plays in the UK economy.

"Back when the Premier League started in 1992 there was one international broadcast contract; today we have 84 agreements servicing 211 territories all across the world. Our international rights distribution gives fantastic global profile to a number of major UK cities and the sponsors and partners who support the League and its 20 clubs.

"Creative industries are playing an increasingly important role for the economy; Britain was once known the world over for textiles and coal production, it is now our music, film and sports industries that drive our international reputation. Football is a fantastic low cost export, as for 33 weeks of the year our clubs access half a billion homes around the world. What those fans see when they tune in is well organised, exciting football where there is huge passion in the stands. That image travels: you might be might living in Singapore, Lagos, Abu Dhabi or Baltimore but you have an affinity with clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City or Chelsea."

Market Needs

The Premier League operates a three year broadcast rights sales model for both domestic and international rights. It is an open tender process which is available to all interested parties in that region. The Premier League sets very high standards for those potential rights holders; they must satisfy Premier League demands that they are a credible bidder and can deliver a high quality product to the potential viewers in their territory.

What is important for the sale of television rights to foreign broadcasters is that the Premier League product is delivered by a local rights holder who can satisfy the local market needs. Although a central feed of the 380 games from the UK is broadcast to the rights holders across the globe, each of them will have their own commentators commentating in their own language, will build their own studios, all of the advertising will be relevant to the local market. The Premier League also provides supporting sports and magazine programming all year round. The Premier League has long recognised that it means different things to different people and the rights holders do a massive job of making a very British business culturally acceptable in each country.

The Premier League's financial distribution formula to clubs is the most equitable of all Europe's major leagues and international TV rights play an important role in the improving the competiveness of the league. All the money received through the sale of our broadcasting rights in foreign territories is split equally among the 20 clubs. This provides a platform for the clubs to challenge in the competition, while rewarding investment and success.

Good Causes

In addition to television rights sales, the two other major elements of the Premier League's international trade are good causes and football development. The Premier League combines it brand and appeal with the resources and expertise to make a genuine and sustainable difference to football development and other causes in countries right around the world.

The centrepiece of the Premier League's £3.4m International Good Causes approach is the development of the successful Premier Skills coaching project, run in association with the British Council. Following pilots in Egypt and India in 2008 it has rapidly rolled out to a total of 22 projects across 15 countries, from Africa to China, India and South East Asia.

Former Premier League stars Warren Barton and Robbie Earle and a dedicated team of club community coaches lead the week-long Premier Skills courses. They provide aspiring sports coaches and youth leaders with the training to return to their own communities and enhance their existing football sessions, whilst also developing their leadership skills and a greater understanding of the role football can play in tackling other social issues.

In addition to the coaching and community leadership sessions, the British Council is developing English language materials using football-based content about the Premier League to inspire and capture the interest of millions of English language students worldwide. The first phase of Premier Skills has seen 1,000 young adults coached, who in turn have gone on to coach a further 250,000 people in their communities.

Coaching Clinics

The Premier League is also permanently engaged in international football development, where it provides advice to overseas leagues and national football associations. This can take the form of commercial advice or practical work like coaching clinics. The Premier League's most prominent international football development work is the biannual Barclays Asia Trophy, where three Premier League teams compete against local teams and also provide development work with the relevant local football authority during the tournament. In 2009 the Barclays Asia Trophy took place in Beijing.

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