Sport Lisboa e Benfica and San Francisco Giants have announced, on February 5th, a strategic partnership which goes beyond sports and culture.
This partnership aims to promote the exchange of expertise and know-how across the sports, business and technology sectors. It will also see both clubs collaborate on the development of joint initiatives, marketing campaigns, corporate programs, museum and cultural events, investment and joint-venture opportunities plus the organization of exhibition matches.
Benfica and the Giants have enjoyed significant success in their respective sports, with the Eagles of Lisbon owning the record for most Portuguese league titles and the San Francisco franchise earning eight World Series Championships. The clubs will exchange best practices on and off the pitch. Benfica are known for the work they have done in player development at their award-winning academy and the Giants are recognized leaders in technology and business innovation throughout the sports industry.
This new alliance follows the Giants joining the membership of the ISMA (International Association of Sports Museums), entity which comprises museums and sports clubs with international dimension, that have a sizeable collection of historical sporting artifacts and that its members believe the preservation of such historical memorabilia is a duty and ensures that sports fans can learn and appreciate their club’s roots, values and success.
Luís Filipe Vieira, President of SL Benfica, spoke on the importance of this partnership: “Both Benfica and San Francisco Giants share a proud history marked by many achievements and their considerable contribution to the development of sport. This partnership allows us to strengthen relations with one of the most iconic sports teams in the U.S., exchange ideas and experiences, and develop new strategies and programs that will benefit both clubs".
“We are excited to partner with Sport Lisboa e Benfica and this collaboration will further allow us to connect our worlds of Sport & Tourism. We look forward to the exchange of ideas and cultural experiences between Lisbon and San Francisco and the development of strategic opportunities between our two storied franchises.” said Stephen Revetria, President of Giants Enterprises.
The Giants are the first club to represent Baseball and the Major League Baseball (MLB) in ISMA, joining clubs such as Benfica, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Boca Juniors and the San Francisco 49ers, among others.
The official ceremony took place at Museum Benfica – Cosme Damião. Sport Lisboa e Benfica was represented by the vice-president Alcino António, who was clearly satisfied with this strategic alliance.
"This partnership goes beyond sports. It encompasses cooperation, based on the investment possibility in several areas, the commercial and technological sides and, naturally, sports. We are sure that this exchange of expertise will be an added value", he explained.
Stephen Rivetria, president of the San Francisco Giants, also attended the ceremony. Before the event, he was able to visit Estádio da Luz (to watch the match Benfica-Famalicão – 1st leg of the Portuguese Cup semi-finals), Museum Benfica – Cosme Damião and the historical preservation department.
"I loved Estádio da Luz and Museum Benfica – Cosme Damião. I fell inspired by the work they have been doing here. We travel all around the world, visit great museums, but I can honestly say that this is the best I’ve ever seen. This partnership starts when joining ISMA, but it can go much further. We hope that we can work together in the next years. We respect this partner a lot and admire its work. I would love to see Benfica back in California next summer", he stressed.
Tiago Lopes, Head of Benfica business for the United States, also shared his opinion about this partnership.
"First of all, I would like to congratulate Benfica. It is a great honor and privilege to host a great club such as Benfica in Lisbon and to have the president of the SF Giants with us. This all started very simply. The Club’s dimension, the history of Benfica and, obviously, the friendships and relationships, which are very useful and bring people to join us and cooperate towards a common purpose. This is a partnership between clubs which has commercial, institutional and patrimonial components", added Tiago Lopes.
Photos: Cátia Luís / SL Benfica