Argentina and FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi has become a global brand ambassador of Qatar-based telecommunications firm Ooredoo, a state-owned group formerly known as Qatar Telecom (Qtel).
According to reports, The Leo Messi Foundation, Messi’s charitable organisation established in 2007, will work with Ooredoo to develop charitable projects across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
Messi, the winner of four consecutive Fifa Ballons d’Or awards, was unveiled as a global brand ambassador at a press conference on Wednesday. The agreement follows an announcement on Monday that each of the group’s operating companies – including Indosat in Indonesia, Wataniya in Kuwait, Nawras in Oman, Tunisiana in Tunisia and Nedjma in Algeria – will be rebranded under the Oooredo umbrella.
“I’m very happy to be working with Ooredoo as we share the same idea that practical steps make a difference,” Messi said. “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.”
Nasser Marafih, group chief executive, Ooredoo, added: “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.”