ECA Media Release

Real Madrid CF, FC Red Bull Salzburg and Celtic FC rewarded for their outstanding achievements - on and off the pitch.

On the occasion of the European Club Association's (ECA) General Assembly, the winners of the 5th Edition of the ECA Awards were announced. The ECA Awards were first introduced back in 2010 with the aim of rewarding outstanding club performances, encouraging best practice and highlighting successful club management. This year, three ECA Member Clubs were honoured for the following achievements:

European Club of The Year 2014
Real Madrid CF (ESP): for their outstanding achievements during the 2013/14 season at both European and domestic level.

Best Sporting Progress 2014
FC Red Bull Salzburg (AUT): for their significant progress in European competition during the 2013/14 season.

After a difficult 2012/13 European campaign, the club qualified in 2013/14 for the UEFA Europa League group stage, finishing first of its group with 18 points, winning all its games. In the round of 32, they knocked out AFC Ajax by scoring a total of six goals, losing only in the round of 16 against Swiss champions FC Basel 1893. This great performance has seen the club make a significant jump in the UEFA Club Coefficient Ranking 2014.

Best Community & Social Responsibilty Programme 2014
Real Madrid CF (ESP): "Socio-Sport School in the Gallinero Slum"

Real Madrid CF, through the Real Madrid Foundation, operates in 67 countries and develops 300 social-sports schools for kids at risk of social exclusion.

Gallinero is the most marginal slum of Madrid where kids are threatened by the drugs and crime environment and have limited opportunities to live in healthy social surroundings.

The Gallinero Socio-Sport School is part of a global intervention with local authorities to encourage 80 youngsters to choose a better path through education.With the aim of contributing to the human development of underprivileged children and youngsters aged between 6 and 17 (ie children at risk of social exclusion, school drop-out, with family issues, behavioural problems, exposed to crime or drugs, disabilities,...), the Real Madrid Foundation teaches them sports, healthy habits, provides them with school habits and team sports values using the attraction of the club's name and know-how and sports as an educational tool.

In the Gallinero Slum Project, Real Madrid CF reinforces a social and community project with after-school sports activities, integrating education and positive sports values during the training sessions, complemented by social activities. The goal is to make children commit to their education and through that invest in their future.

Twice a week, the participants go to sports facilities where the coaches teach them social values by using sport as an educational tool in accordance with the Real Madrid Foundation guidelines and methodology.

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Similar to last year, the ECA CSR Award Winner was nominated by an independent panel which this year was composed of the following members:

  • Peter Gilliéron, UEFA Executive Committee Member and Chairman of the Committee for Fair Play & Social Responsibility at UEFA;
  • Hubert Rovers, Founder and Chairman of the European Football for Development Network (EFDN);
  • Dirk Degraen, KRC Genk (Winner of the ECA CSR Award 2013).

Hubert Rovers presented Real Madrid CF with the award and congratulated them for their outstanding CSR Programme, stating:

     "The Gallinero Slum Project is a great example of a social inclusion project through football and illustrates perfectly the force for good that clubs can have in their local communities. The combination of after-school sports activities, integrated social activities and education makes this a community project that changes people lives on a daily basis. The Gallinero project itself, together with the developed methodology and the way the Real Madrid Foundation has multiplied the effect of the social-sport school projects throughout the world, are admirable. I can only invite other clubs to get inspired by this successful CSR model."

Best Achievement 2014: Marketing
Celtic FC (SCO): "CelticLIVE - Full Stadium WiFi Connectivity"

Following the recognition of a Fan Relations Project in 2012 and a Youth Development Project in 2013, the 2014 Best Achievement Award is dedicated to a Marketing Initiative.
Marketing is an important pillar in every club's business model, not only to drive revenue growth, but also to help promoting the club's brand identity. With the evolution of media technologies, marketing has now become a multidisciplinary business field offering a great variety of tools to help reach the set objectives.

Celtic FC has developed a fully functioning High Density Wi-Fi network, coupled with a tailor-made mobile application that delivers fans a live content rich smartphone experience purposefully built to enhance the match day experience. The App provides fans with prioritised and exclusive content, deployed live and in real-time by the club's pitch-side Content Management team. All content is curated and broadcasted on a continuous basis, moment-by-moment, giving fans what they seek, when they seek it. Additionally, the CelticLIVE App offers brand partners a powerful engagement platform on every match day.

Through this initiative, Celtic FC has proved that it is possible to combine the dual challenge of establishing a full stadium Wi-Fi network and a match day accompanying App, responding to the needs of both fans and brand partners.

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