This is what the touring exhibition will look like (Premier League)

(WFI) The English Premier League is taking the Premiership trophy on a global tour starting next week under efforts to grow the fanbase for the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world.

The first leg of the first ever Barclays Premier League Trophy Tour kicks off in Abu Dhabi from March 18-20 before heading to Dubai, Doha and Riyadh. It then travels to Hong Kong for the Barclays Asia Trophy in July. During the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, the tour heads to Asia, North America and Africa.

With every match-day of the Premier League broadcast to more than 580 million households in over 200 countries, EPL bosses are keen to enhance the competition brand by providing an opportunity for fans to get a behind-the-scenes experience of the teams and players they follow.

The free interactive experience takes fans through four domes.

The Changing Room – a fact-based tour through the history of the current 20 EPL clubs. The Centre Circle – fans will experience the noise and excitement of a match-day before learning all about the winning teams and club captains. The Trophy Room – fans can get up close with the official Barclays Premier League Trophy. Becoming the Third Lion – through green-screen technology, fans can get pictures of themselves lifting the EPL trophy.

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore said: “We want to show them what is at the heart of our competition: the trophy itself, as that is what every player and manager competes to get their hands on; the fantastic football as played by our 20 clubs, because that is what excites hundreds of millions week-in week-out; and the history and tradition of English football, as that is what helps create the huge interest in the competition.

“Global interest in the Barclays Premier League has never been higher, with demand for this type of additional experience coming from fans right across the globe.

“Nothing beats a live

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore (Getty)

match, but the kind of unique content that is going into the Barclays Premier League Trophy Tour will make a compelling attraction for fans of all 20 clubs as well as projecting a positive image of Britain abroad.”

A dedicated website has been created for fans to find out more information and pre-book priority places for the tour.

Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, which shows every EPL match live and exclusive in HD across the MENA region, is partnering with Barclays and the Premier League for the Middle East leg. AD Sports, also partnering for this part of the tour, will create a fan park adjacent to trophy tour experience where supporters can watch EPL matches on giant screens.

Abu Dhabi Sports Channel director Mohammed Najeeb expressed delight that Abu Dhabi was the first host city for the trophy tour. “The UAE and indeed the entire Gulf region is fanatical about football, especially English football,” he said.

“This unique interactive experience will allow us to give something back to our loyal and passionate viewers across the region who, in their thousands, watch the games every single week, but would not necessarily have had the opportunity to attend a match.”

The full schedule for the first leg of the Barclays Premier League Trophy Tour is:
– The Corniche, Abu Dhabi, UAE – Friday 18 to Sunday 20 March
– The Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, UAE – Friday 1 to Sunday 3 April
– Doha, Qatar – Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 April
– Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 April

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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