SALFORD Red Devils have announced a new long-term partnership with Red Star Belgrade Rugby League.
The partnership will further Salford’s talent identification programme and player pathway opportunities, with Head Coach of Salford Reserves, Stuart Wilkinson – previously Serbian national coach – already possessing an elite understanding into what benefits this relationship will bring.
Raw talent in the Balkans will become a particular interest, with a plan of honing top tier players. This will, in turn, assist the currently 8th ranked Serbian National Team progress and climb the rankings.
Managing Director, Paul King said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership agreement with the global brand of elite Serbian club, Red Star Belgrade Rugby League.”
“Our sincere thanks go to our colleagues at Blocksport for helping facilitate this alongside the team at Red Star.”
“As with our other partnerships, we are looking to assist in coaching, structure, player exchange and information share to play a part in facilitating the growth of the global game.
“From a brand awareness perspective we are looking to this partner agreement to project us onto a wider global screen which, in turn, presents increased commercial opportunities for the club and hopefully the sport thereafter.
“As always we endeavour to lead on these matters as we have with the Ghanaian partnership link into Africa amongst others and shall continue to invest both time and resources into ensuring success for all parties.”
Colin Kleyweg, CEO of Red Star, said: “To complete a contract with a progressive, successful Super League club like Salford Red Devils is a major milestone for the Red Star Belgrade Rugby League Club and is a magnificent way for us to prepare for two more trophies to finish the year.
“This deal, in our opinion, is great news for our fans who waited through the last couple of years to see how we, and our game would emerge from the pandemic.
“We wanted to wait for the right time, with the right club and the right people and this project covers the wide areas that are needed to develop successful sporting clubs in the 2020’s – targeted development of elite boys and girls in Serbia in key junior age groups, opportunities for senior players in men’s and women’s open age groups, joint marketing in areas where we will work together in the future and a new dimension to both clubs existing agreements with Blocksport as we grow the usage and understanding of the purpose of NFT’s and Tokens for members and fans.
“There is a lot of opportunity in this partnership and we look forward to working with the Salford Red Devils.”
Samir Ceric, Chief Operating Officer of Blocksport, added: “I am very pleased that our partner rugby clubs Salford Red Devils and Red Star have signed a club partnership agreement and will work more closely together on identifying talent in Serbia and the Balkans region and bring some of the best players to the UK and further develop them.
“On top of that, and knowing the vision of both club owners, I have no doubts that this partnership will also push the blockchain and digital agenda both clubs have in relation to an improved fan engagement and creation of new revenue streams both in their respective territories of Serbia and the United Kingdom, but globally too.
“Red Star is a global brand and Salford Red Devils is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world, celebrating its 150th next year, hence I have no doubts that joint projects such as NFTs, merchandise as well as international tours in Asia and other parts of the world will form an agenda between these two clubs.
“We at Blocksport are thrilled that our network of partners is starting to deliver value beyond our own blockchain technology and the full eco-system (including Web3 Enabled Fan Engagement App, with many functionalities, ranging from fan missions, fan shop, streaming, ticketing, and soon NFT games, to Fan Tokens and NFTs) both clubs have adopted, making them the first rugby clubs in the world to have fully embraced the power of blockchain.”