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City2City: Etihad Airways and Manchester City team up to shine a light on grassroots football stories

City2City: Etihad Airways and Manchester City team up to shine a light on grassroots football stories

Etihad Airways and Manchester City Football Club have joined forces to celebrate grassroots football, shining a light on inspiring untold stories from a selection of the airline’s key global gateways.

City2City is a new digital video series in which Etihad Airways and Manchester City visit some of the world’s most popular cities: Beijing, New York, Paris and Mumbai – all of which are important destinations on the Etihad Airways network. The series lifts the lid on how grassroots football inspires, motivates and shapes young lives, while uncovering fascinating aspects of each city.

To delve fully into the nuances of the different cultures, Etihad Airways and Manchester City reached out to acclaimed youth media brand, VICE Media, through its in-house global agency, Virtue Worldwide, to produce City2City. The series tells everyday stories of aspiring young footballers and leaders who are using the power of football to help transform young individuals in four dynamic metropolises.

Patrick Pierce, Etihad Airways Vice President Marketing Partnerships, said: “Together with City Football Group, we are proud to produce a four-part series highlighting the positive social contributions football can make in local communities. We are also committed to supporting the development of youth football globally by encouraging young male and female athletes to pursue their goals in sport and in life, and to contribute positively to their communities.”

Tom Glick, CityFootball Group Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are extremely proud to have produced a series of content with our partners, Etihad Airways, which will resonate with City fans and football fans all over the world. Stripping football to its core, City2City showcases the simple purity of the grassroots game and the bonds of friendship, inspiration and teamwork which can be found in the world’s favourite sport.”

The first episode in the series visits Beijing and premieres on 13 April 2017. This film will follow the story of Huang and Ding, who by focusing their energies on the sport they love, are inspiring a whole new generation of footballers in China.

In New York, Etihad Airways pays a visit to Manchester City’s sister club, New York City FC and its ‘City in the Community’ charity programme. In the heart of Spanish Harlem, the episode introduces the young star of the film, Shaeline Diaz, who shook up the status quo in her family and community in pursuit of excellence both on and off the field. The episode charts her story as she tried to walk away from the sport she’d grown to love.

In Mumbai, England international and Manchester City Women player Jill Scott learns the inspirational story of Parvati Pujari and her relationship with the Magic Bus Foundation as she discovers strength and leadership through football. This film shows one of the many facets of an urban landscape marked by skyscrapers and surrounded by neighbourhoods in a colourful melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.

City2City comes to a close in Paris, exploring ‘les banlieues’ which have been home to some of French football’s best talents, including Manchester City youngster Thierry Ambrose, who talks about his path to becoming a professional player. The film follows journalist and storyteller, Ilyes Ramdani and local protégé, Enzo Lopes, to discover what makes this most diverse of communities such a hotbed of footballing talent.

Etihad Airways has been Manchester City’s main club partner since May 2009. The Club’s stadium has been renamed as the Etihad Stadium, forming the centrepiece of a newly-named Etihad Campus, which encompasses a large part of the Sport City site in East Manchester.