By ZBC Reporter
THE Brand Zimbabwe campaign continues to bear fruit after the country’s flag was flown high at the Benito Villamarin Stadium when Real Betis lost 3-2 to Barcelona in a Spanish La Liga clash on Sunday.
Zimbabwe’s presence on the globe was heavily felt at one of football’s biggest stages in Seville, Spain on Sunday when Real Betis, which has a football academy in Zimbabwe, hosted Barcelona at Benito Villamarin Stadium.
Although there was no Zimbabwean featuring in the match Real Betis fans could be seen waving the Zimbabwean flag, confirming the club’s talent identification programme in Zimbabwe.
“We are very excited about the opportunity given to us to market our sports brand and our country at such big stages. It is a welcoming moment and it is our hope that we continue on this path to promote Brand Zimbabwe across the globe.
“We understand the sport, especially football, is loved by almost everyone and our coming on board will also help to lure more visitors into our country which is a huge benefit for everybody,” said Gerald Sibanda, Athletes Sphere Management President and CEO.
The development, which came as surprise to many who were watching the game across the globe, is a huge step towards marketing Brand Zimbabwe, an initiative which is being spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to lure more visitors into the country through sport.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority spokesperson, Godfrey Kopti, said: “As the ZTA we are very elated and delighted to have the opportunity to market our country at such a big global stage.
“Many thanks go to Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe for managing to market Zimbabwe on in such an immaculate way on that big platform which has so many people and many idols. That partnership has begun to bear fruit and we are grateful to have the privilege to use the platform to market Zimbabwe. This is a good starting point where we have such huge visibility.”
Following Sunday’s momentous event, Brand Zimbabwe is expected to be showcased once again when Real Betis host Atletico Madrid on the 11th of April.