Chelsea Football Club has agreed to be the exclusive football club partner of a grass roots talent search in southern China.
The Super Soccer Star television show will be broadcast in the province of Guangdong in April with the four finalists destined to visit Chelsea FC’s world renowned Academy and Stamford Bridge later in the summer.
The show will be televised on the Guangdong TV Sports Channel, one of China’s largest regional broadcasters.
Soccer schools and coaches across the Guangdong province will send their most promising 14-16 year old players to participate in the selection process over the 13 episodes of the show.
The tests by which participants are judged are based on those used at the Chelsea Academy. The club’s name and brand will be promoted on air and in conjunction with the naming of the show.
Chelsea’s involvement is the latest club project in China designed to promote grass roots football in the country.
Chelsea is already the official football development partner of the Asian Football Confederation’s Vision China project that aims to set up 10 city leagues in China.
Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon said: “We are delighted to be involved in such an innovative project that helps us deliver on our continuing commitment to promote grass roots football amongst youngsters in China.
“The show complements our involvement in Vision China with the AFC as well as showcasing Chelsea to a large audience and we look forward to hosting the finalists of Super Soccer Star in England.”
The Guangdong TV Sports Channel broadcasts across the Guangdong province to its 12 major cities and also certain parts of neighbouring provinces Guangxi and Zhongxing reaching a total of 50 million estimated viewers.
The channel is also one of the official broadcasting partners of the FA Premier League in China.
The Super Soccer Star Show, which is co-produced by British company Galleon plc, will provide a mix of football and entertainment as well as interactive content for viewers.
The show aims to promote football skills and fitness across the 14-16 age group and will appeal to family peak-time viewing.