Famed Italian football club AS Roma is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to bring elite European professional football to youth athletes through a multi-faceted strategic agreement. The groundbreaking partnership also calls for Roma’s first-team to train at the facility during its Serie A winter break, which is a first for an Italian League team.
As part of the six-year deal, the ESPN sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the leading multi-sports venue for amateur athletes in the United States, becomes the official winter training home of AS Roma, and the three-time Serie A champions become the sports complex’s official professional football team. Additionally, AS Roma will have signage throughout the sports complex, serve as presenting sponsor of several Disney-owned youth soccer events there and have one of its youth academy teams compete in Disney’s Soccer Showcase.
“The facilities are tremendously impressive,” said Franco Baldini, director general of football operations for AS Roma. “The ability to come here to train at this state-of-the-art complex in good weather during the Serie A winter break will be a big advantage.”
AS Roma’s involvement with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex underscores the sports complex’s stature as the nation’s top youth soccer venue, which annually hosts pro soccer events as well as the country’s most prestigious youth soccer tournament, Disney’s Soccer Showcase. AS Roma joins the Atlanta Braves (Major League Baseball), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (National Football League) and the Orlando Magic (National Basketball Association) as professional sports franchises that have trained at the ESPN sports complex at Disney.