BNL Group BNP Paribas and CONI, thanks to a relationship which has lasted over 70 years, today announced a new partnership to develop initiatives and projects aimed at backing sporting activities at all levels, in order to support business ideas and to further spread sports culture. BNL is the Main Sponsor of CONI exclusively for banking activity and for financial services. BNL and CONI already share a history full of historic events and initiatives such as the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, the 1990 World Cup in Italy; the feat of the five Azzurri athletes (Erica Alfridi, Deborah Gelisio, Josefa Idem, Ylenia Scapin and Alessandra Sensini) at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, through the "BNL Cerchi e Stelle" [BNL Circles and Stars] initiative, sponsorship for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. BNL is, also, the partner of 44 Sports Federations and Bank of the Italian Paralympic Committee and of the main Federations linked to it.
The new partnership arises from the wish to enhance respective skills and abilities, putting them to use for those who make sport an important part of their life and their activity: athletes, young people, families, university students, entrepreneurs and start-uppers, until reaching the Italian Olympic team. That is in the belief that sport is an important factor in training and education for people and young people in particular: dedication, perseverance and fairness represent, in fact, necessary elements for achievement and for improving results, in sport as in the private and professional life of the individual. For this, BNL provides, within the framework of the agreement, commitment, firstly, to the family financing which makes the costs easier to bear for the sporting activities of their members, paying in instalments with dedicated conditions and offering, in this way, a real and useful contribution to family finances. However BNL also takes into account '"entrepreneurship in sport", to support athletes or champions who do not compete any more but who have experience and knowledge of the sports world and its requirements and wish set up their own business idea. All this is possible through the micro-credit sector in which BNL operates through an industrial partnership with PerMicro, leader in the Italian market.
The support is not only limited to financing, but it also includes mentoring for new entrepreneurs by specialised teams to assist them in the preparation of the business plan and in the different stages of start-up, management and business development. The initiative also caters for young people whose start-up is related to the world of sports, and for those which are working in a contest which rewards the best business project, emphasizing aspects of innovation, with a focus on technology, of sustainability over time and ability to generate income.
The BNL-CONI partnership also focuses on training opportunities with the project “EduCare for Sport”, which involves athletes, young athletes and university students in order to explore themes related to economic and financial education and their application in the area of sports and everyday life. Banking experts, professionals, sports managers and champions will be present at the events. EduCare is the economic and financial education project started by BNL in 2008 with free meetings throughout Italy. In six years over 4 thousand events have been organised with the participation of around 80 thousand people and 8 thousand companies.
Within the framework of the agreement, last but not least, an offer is also expected for the athletes and for sports fans through Hello bank!, the digital bank of the BNP Paribas group, operating in Italy with BNL, as well as in France, Belgium and Germany. The closeness of BNL to sport and to CONI is well known also for its commitment to tennis, which sees the Bank since 2007 as title sponsor of the "Internazionali BNL d'Italia". BNL has contributed, also together with CONI and FIT [Italian Tennis Federation], to the growth over time of this Tournament, which has become one the most important events in the sector, anticipated by a multitude of enthusiasts both nationally and internationally. The support of the Bank at events of such high standing also allows for the recovery and valuing of places, such as the Foro Italico and its facilities, which form part of an artistic and cultural heritage of great value for the Country.