Spanish club Real Betis has opened up a football school in Zimbabwe.

The Andalusian club has launched the new sports project as part of its strategic plan to extending its brand and around the world.

This is the second of such project that the club has undertaken in Africa. A similar project whose main aim is to provide football education is currently running in Fez, Morocco.

Real Betis is pursuing a global education project through football with the main objectives of providing access to good education and fight against marginalization and social exclusion.

Already, more than 1000 boys and girls outside of Spain have had the chance to train under the program. At the same time, by arriving in new countries and setting up such projects, the club is in a better position to develop commercial activities in these markets and expand its brand.

“Real Betis is attracting greater interest from outside of Spain and this contributes to expanding our brand through football,” explained Ramón Alarcón, general business director of the club.

The Zimbabwe project, which is a starting point for growth in Sub Africa, and is expected to provide hundreds of young people with an elite football education programme, will be based in the Capital, Harare.

From here, the club plans to launch a series of new initiatives in the African country to extend the Betis brand in Africa.

“The idea is to convey the footballing style of the club and the values that characterise us, such as unwavering faith, the ability to overcome, knowing how to stand up in the worst moments and the connection with people,” Alarcón noted.

“Within our international expansion plan, we know there are different levels of action required depending on the country we’re in,” Alarcón continued.

“There are markets where player training and education is more important, such as China, Africa and Southeast Asian. However, in the United States and Mexico, the sporting projects focus more on brand expansion.”

The club chooses the markets to enter based on carefully established criteria such as social media influence in a territory.

“Another very important characteristic is the audience and the number of followers that we have through our social media platforms,” he continued.

“The players also play a relevant role, whether a current member of our squad or not, because they give us added local impact.”

Real Betis says they are focused on continuing the growth of its football schools with the ambition of being able to reach as many young people as possible in new territories.

“We want to continue working, advancing and growing with the idea of incorporating new academies,” concluded Alarcón.”

This article originally appeared LaLiga’s Global Futbol newsletter