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14.10.2008 18:36

Basketball flying Barça flag in the USA


As Regal Barça head off to the States on Thursday, FC Barcelona will be participating in a number of events to promote the club both to the NBA and to American social and public institutions.

The basketball team’s North American tour , part of Euroleague Basketball America On Tour 2008 , is also forming part of FC Barcelona’s quest to promote the club in new markets, in this case the United States. That is why a Barça expedition, led by president Joan Laporta and the director with responsibilities for basketball, Josep Cubells, will not only be attending the games but also a series of other institutional events designed to consolidate FC Barcelona, thus tying sporting interests in with other more social ones.

Part of this plan for expansion into the US is the offer FC Barcelona will be making on Wednesday in New York, as they present their candidature to become co-owners of one of the new Major League Soccer franchises planned for 2010.

Clinic to promote values

The first institutional visit is programmed for Friday 17 when the club, along with Regal FC Barcelona, will be visiting the Los Angeles Red Shield School. They will be giving a basketball clinic at the school that will focus on the values being promoted by the Play It program that was established by the club foundation. The program is a pedagogic resource created to promote the transmission of values and foster positive personal values.

So, FC Barcelona, like on so many visits to different parts of the world, will be continuing to concentrate on social and solidarity issues as part of its mission to be “més que un club al món” (more than a club in the world).

Gala supper

That night, the Barça representatives will be attending a special dinner being held by the Los Angeles Lakers, the first side that will face Xavier Pasqual’s squad. This invitation, at the behest of the Californian club, will be held in Petros Restaurant, on Manhattan Beach, and will be attended by such dignitaries as the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss.

Importance of supporters clubs

Naturally, president Joan Laporta also plans to spend some time enjoying the company of the local Barça supporters club, in theory in the hotel where the basketball players will be staying. The club, called “The Los Angeles FCB Soccer Foundation” and presided by Paul Walker, was founded in 2001 and has a youth soccer school.

Visit to the Casal Catalá de California

The club is also committed to its country, and the officials, but not the players, will also be paying a visit to the Casal Catalá de California, a meeting place for Catalans in the American state, and anybody else in California with an interest in Catalan culture.
Basketball flying Barça flag in the USA
Trip to Warner Bros Studios
The FC Barcelona expedition, apart from the basketball players and coaches, will also be paying a visit to the Warner Bros Studios in Los Angeles. The studios are FC Barcelona licensors, and on the last football trip to the state, in 2006, the club also met with this American multinational.

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