Notice those Tanzania posters that popped up on the corner walls inside CenturyLink Field? Well, here's a news release clarifying the expanding link between club and nation:
The Seattle Sounders FC announced today a partnership with Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa. In mid-July, Tanzania's Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Honorable Ambassador Khamis S. Kagasheki, MP, joined by the Tanzania Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Ambassador Mwanaidi S. Maajar, led a senior level tourism delegation to Seattle.
Key elements of the partnership include large-scale, full-color signage at highly visible areas within CenturyLink Field and Starfire Sports Complex, the Sounders FC training facility located in Tukwila, WA. The signage will feature iconic images of signature tourist attractions including: Mount Kilimanjaro, The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar.
"Our partnership with the Tanzania Tourist Board provides a visual reference to a country with unprecedented natural wonders and celebrated destinations to our fans," said Sounders FC owner Joe Roth. "It also offers an excellent opportunity to access a key region in the global market."
Hon. Amb. Kagasheki in commenting about the partnership with the Sounders FC noted, "We believe that this multi-faceted partnership will enhance our efforts in promoting Destination Tanzania in the United States especially on the West Coast as well as promote investment and trade opportunities in Tanzania."
Two prominent murals are displayed inside the stadium in the northwest and northeast tunnels. The murals were visible for the first time during the nationally televised Sounders FC versus Chelsea FC match at CenturyLink Field on July 18.
The Sounders FC began discussing a relationship with Tanzania during the 2010 season when Sounders FC assistant coach/scout Kurt Schmid traveled to Tanzania to expand scouting efforts in the often over looked countries in East Africa and attend National Team training. The team invited forward Mrisho Ngassa to train with the Sounders FC.
Ngassa came to the Sounders FC on trial from Azam FC, one of the clubs which plays in the Tanzania Premier League. Ngassa saw limited action during the team's 2011 friendly with Manchester United.
A delegation from Tanzania accompanying the Hon. Amb. Kagasheki from Tanzania included: Mr. Ibrahim Mussa, Director of Tourism, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism; Dr. Aloyce K. Nzuki, Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB); Mr. Deogratias S. Malogo, Research and Development Manager, TTB; Mr. Johnson M. Manase, Manager Tourism Services and Customer Care and Pascal Shelutete, Public Relations Manager, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA); Ms. Veronica Ufunguo, Manager Tourism Services, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA); Mr. Egidius Mweyunge, PA to the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism; and Mr. Philipo Cyprian, journalist, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.
For more information visit http://www.visit-tanzania.go.tz
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28% of the land protected by the government, the largest percentage of any country in the world. It boasts 15 National Parks and 31 game reserves, 50 Game Controlled Areas, one special Conservation Area (the Ngorongoro Crater) and three Marine Parks.
It is home to the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, home to the "Great Animal Migration" that was named the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and ABC TV's Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the "Eden of Africa" and the "8th Wonder of the World"; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind: the Selous, the world's largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the second largest National Park in Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people, with a rich history and diverse blend of cultures, are warm and friendly. On December 9, 2011, Tanzania, an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government, celebrated its 50th Anniversary of Independence.