Posted on February 27, 2013

Ooredoo, formerly known as Qtel Group, announced during a press conference yesterday football star Lionel “Leo” Messi as its global brand ambassador to support the company’s vision of enriching people’s lives around the world.

Messi, star forward for FC Barcelona and Argentina National Team, is the world’s greatest football player and has won four consecutive FIFA Ballons d’Or, breaking records in football history. Inspired by Ooredoo’s commitment to making a difference in communities around the world, Messi has become an exclusive global brand ambassador for Ooredoo. In this role, he will be supporting Ooredoo in various programmes to increase the life chances of young people in the Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia to help them fulfil their hopes and dreams.

The Leo Messi Foundation, which Messi founded in 2007, has a track record of funding initiatives, both large and small, to help children in at-risk situations related to health care and education development. As part of the partnership, the Leo Messi Foundation will develop and sponsor projects to stimulate human growth and development across Ooredoo’s markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. These youth sometimes have to fight hard to reach their dreams, and both Ooredoo and the Leo Messi Foundation will work to support them achieve their full potential.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo, said: “We chose to work with Lionel Messi because we believe that Football is a shared passion that unites youth in all our countries and that the greatest athletes can play an incredible role in inspiring and enriching young people to make the most of their life chances. All of our markets have a large youth population, and Leo Messi is a hero to young people from Jakarta through to Doha. Our new brand ambassador shares our belief in human growth and our conviction that all young people should be given the best life chances, and we’re proud to be working with him.” 

Lionel Messi said: “I’m very happy to be working with Ooredoo as we share the same idea that practical steps make a difference. When I visit sick children in hospital, I realise the positive impact that public figures can have. It’s exciting to partner with a global group like Ooredoo, who can help to extend our Foundation work into new markets, to support communities that need help and support young people to have the best chance to make their dreams come true.”

In Argentina, Messi’s home country, the Leo Messi Foundation is involved in various projects such as helping to fight Chagas Diseasewith medicaments and prevention, rehabilitating the Children Public Hospital in Rosario, and maintaining several schools across the country. In Barcelona, Messi’s second home town, the Foundation has built two children’s playgrounds and entirelyrehabilitated the surgery unit of German Trias “Can Ruti” hospital. The Foundation is also providing scholarships for training of doctors who specialise in childhood cancer treatment and paediatrics. Beyond, the Leo Messi Foundation is in process of initiating Social Projects in countries outside Argentina and Spain.

Ooredoo has launched a range of complementary initiatives that support social change across the Middle East and North Africa in recent years, including mhealth services to help people with diabetes, financial services for people without access to bank accounts in Qatar, and mlearning services to support young people’s economic empowerment. In Indonesia, Ooredoo is supporting Indosat’s Mobile Clinic Program. Since the launch of the program in 2007, almost 600,000 people mainly living in remote areas have benefited from free health services provided by 16 mobile clinics.

In addition to his role with Ooredoo, Messi is global goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

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