Supporters in South Africa will have the opportunity to come and watch five live matches broadcast on a 100-metre squares screen, meet legends of the Barclays Premier League and get up close with the iconic Barclays Premier League Trophy.
The inaugural Barclays Premier League Live event will take place at the Zoo Lake Sports Club in Johannesburg on March 29 and 30.
Barclays Premier League Live is a free interactive experience designed for the entire family to enjoy. There is capacity for 12 000 supporters each day and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
The local opening times and live matches to be shown at Barclays Premier League Live in Johannesburg are:
Saturday, March 29
14:45 – Manchester United v Aston Villa
17:00 – Chelsea v Crystal Palace
19:30 – Arsenal v Manchester City
Sunday, March 30
14:30 – Fulham v Everton
17:00 – Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
With every Barclays Premier League match-day broadcast to 212 territories and 804m homes, the Barclays Premier League is the biggest continuous annual global sports event in the world, with the international audience growing each year.
Barclays Premier League Live is all about rewarding those fans and showcasing the passion and excitement of Barclays Premier League matches and grounds. There are a number of zones that will bring the Barclays Premier League to life in Johannesburg:
The Trophy Zone – fans will be able to get up close with the Barclays Premier League Trophy.
The Club Zone – supporters will be able to learn more about the 20 Barclays Premier League clubs, and through green screen technology, will be able to picture themselves lifting the Barclays Premier League Trophy decorated with the ribbons of their favourite club.
The Screening Zone – supporters will experience the noise and excitement of match-day before learning all about the winning teams and captains of the Premier League in this exclusive film.
The Pitch Zone – there will be a mini-football pitch where Barclays Premier League clubs will be conducting skills sessions with local football teams, and there will also be the chance for young fans to have a game of football run by Premier League community coaches.
The Skills Zone – there are three football skills pods for supporters to test their accuracy, close control and shooting power.
The Live Match Zone – the main arena where fans will watch the live Barclays Premier League on a giant 100-metre square screen, the biggest screen in South Africa.
Additionally there will be zones for food and beverages, Premier League sponsors and partners Barclays, EA Sports, Nike and Topps will have event stands as will a number of clubs, including Cardiff City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland. All of this action will be overseen by a local MC, who will keep the crowds entertained in between the Barclays Premier League matches.
South African fans can keep up with the latest developments about Barclays Premier League Live at the website www.BPLLive.com and should look out for Twitter updates from @premierleague and the hashtag #BPLLive
A number of legends of the Barclays Premier League are coming to Barclays Premier League Live. Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler and Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly will be coming from the UK.
Local legends will include Mark Fish and Lucas Radebe, who along with Phil Masinga was the first South African to play in the Premier League.
In addition to offering the crowds their pre and post-match insight on the live matches, the Legends will be involved in signing sessions, coaching local children and will be visiting all the Zones, Premier League partners and club stands over the weekend.
One current South African starring in the Barclays Premier League is Steven Pienaar. The Everton midfielder grew up in Johannesburg and thinks that fans there will love Barclays Premier League Live: “South African fans are very passionate about their football and this is a great way for them to watch the Premier League. I am sure the people will embrace it and it will be another special sporting occasion in my country,” he said.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore added: “Barclays Premier League Live is an exciting way to engage with fans around the world. What they love is the excitement of the football and the passion of the crowds and we think Barclay Premier League Live will be the next best thing to being at the ground.
“It is very fitting that we are debuting Barclays Premier League Live in South Africa because SuperSport are our longest standing international rights holder and have played a great role in bringing Premier League football to hundreds of millions of supporters right across sub-Saharan Africa.”
David Wheldon, Barclays Managing Director of Brand, Reputation, Citizenship and Marketing said: “We have been partners of the Premier League for more than a decade and over this time it has grown into a global phenomenon. This season we have launched a campaign to thank all those fans around the world that support the Barclays Premier League in the right way; whether it’s watching matches in the middle of the night, travelling long distances to see games on TV or supporting their teams no matter the results.
“For us to be able to bring the first ever Barclays Premier League Live to South Africa, the home of our South African bank, Absa, and millions of Barclays Premier League fans, is the best way to thank thousands of South African supporters by making them feel part of this great competition. We hope everyone who attends has a great time.”
Imtiaz Patel, Group CEO of MultiChoice, said: “SuperSport has long been a partner of the Barclays Premier League, which sets the standard for excellence and entertainment. From the beginning it has been among the crown jewels on our various platforms throughout the continent. We are thrilled to be partners for Barclays Premier League Live, which is an exciting development that will resonate with the many thousands of local fans who follow the League with such enthusiasm.”
Barclays Premier League Live will be an annual event and next season will head to the United States of America, before appearing in Asia during the 2015/16 season.