Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov 24.
Trend:Spanish soccer club Atlético Madrid yesterday unveiled a new strip featuring the official logo of the first ever European Games, Baku 2015.
The new look kit is a part of the strategic sponsorship that the Copa Del Rey holders signed with Azerbaijan last year. The official logo of the continent's first ever multi-sport event, to be hosted in the Azeri capital, was launched earlier the same day at the 42nd European Olympic Committees' (EOC) General Assembly in Rome, Italy.
Globally renowned players including David Villa, Diego Costa and Arda Turan, had the Baku 2015 logo printed across their chests for last night's 7:0 home win against Getafe CF at the Vicente Calderón Stadium.
The team will wear the logo as part of the current deal which has seen Atlético's shirts emblazoned with the words 'Azerbaijan Land of Fire', the country's tourism motto, in order to promote the brand of Azerbaijan all over the world.
Dubbed the 'transformational Games', Baku 2015 will see more than 5,400 athletes from all the 49 Olympic nations of Europe compete in 18 sports, including new formats such as basketball 3x3. Beach soccer will also feature for first time in a major multi-sport European event. The plans are said to both reflect the ambitions of one of Europe's most dynamic nations and be a blueprint for the future of major sporting and cultural events on the continent. The European Games will themselves run every four years and are owned and regulated by the EOC.
Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov, said: "For the first time Europe has its own multi-sport event and we want to spread the message to sport fans across the continent. There are few ways of doing so as impactful as on the shirt of a football team, the main identifying element of a club. Our collaboration with Atlético, with its players now wearing the Baku 2015 logo with pride, is built on a shared passion to bring people together in a celebration in sport. That's what these Games - and our desire to host them in Baku - is really about."
Atlético also has European ambitions. One of the best supported clubs in Spain has twice won the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Supercup in the past four seasons and is already classified for the last 16 in the UEFA Champions League.
Conceived by Azerbaijani designer Adam Yunisov, the Baku 2015 logo brings together five elements that have shaped the country's ancient and contemporary culture and traditions. It depicts both the nation's heritage and emergence as a new centre for international sport, tourism and business. The logo launch is the latest in a series of milestones for Games which includes the completion of the draft sports programme and competition schedule, together with the finalisation of venues masterplan.