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19 January 2012

George Weah Strikes a Beat with Lebara

London, UK– Thursday 19 January, 2012 – Lebara, one of Europe‟s leading telecoms operators for migrant communities, is delighted to announce a new partnership with George Weah, one of the most successful African footballers of all time. As part of a campaign to celebrate the spirit of African football this winter, Lebara‟s next TV ad, due to kick-off on Eurosport on Saturday 21 January, will feature the Liberian football star in a series of short films.

The campaign named “The Call of Africa” was produced and created by CST The Gate and will air in 59 countries across the Eurosport network. It will star George Weah, renowned for his fierce goal striking skills and a number of young upcoming African footballers. The films show the players striking a rhythmic beat on a collection of drums, from all over the continent of Africa, assembled into a goal. As the world's original communication devices, the drums have been used to portray Lebara as a global communication service. The campaign will run throughout the African football season and will promote special Lebara offers to those wishing to stay in touch with family and friends back home or abroad.

Yoganathan Ratheesan, CEO of Lebara Group stated, “We are proud to have partnered with George Weah and look forward to building our association with him. At Lebara, we are passionate about supporting activities, such as football, that are important to our customers. Our success is built on an in-depth understanding of our customers and our commitment to helping them stay closer to their loved ones through high quality, low cost products and services. We hope football fans will enjoy the latest TV ad which aims to entertain households as well as highlight key Lebara offers this New Year.”

George Weah spent 14 years playing professionally for England, France and Italy having started his football career in Liberia playing for a number of different clubs before he was signed by Arsène Wenger in 1988. In 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year. Weah is heavily involved in educational projects in Liberia where he uses football as a way to promote and encourage children to remain in school.

The Call of Africa commercial was filmed at the Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, the impressive venue that hosted the first African FIFA World Cup Finals in 2010. It was here that the "drum goal" was meticulously assembled over three days from 300 different sized drums, each uniquely coloured and styled, from different African nations. 12 children were recruited from local football clubs and were provided with impromptu coaching in between takes from their football hero George Weah. The advert was directed by Ron Scapello, recognised for his work on a number of high profile football ads and with BBC Sport.

The TV campaign will be supported by a number of promotional activities across Lebara's retail network, at outdoor venues and online. In particular, Lebara is offering "MyLebara" registered customers an exclusive gift of 30 day access to Eurosport Player, where they will be able to watch some of the most exciting African football matches this season. This offer is available to the first 50,000 customers and needs to be activated by 30 June 2012. A dedicated microsite www.lebara.co.uk/football will showcase the brand commercial, as well as a film explaining how the ad was made.

Fans can also create their own beat through an online app based on the commercial which can then be downloaded as a ringtone. Other promotions, available at participating retailers, include a "Scratch & Win" promotion giving customers the chance to win merchandise including footballs, bandanas and whistles.

For further information, please contact:
Francesca Palmiero
+44 20 7395 7110

Finola Urquhart
+44 20 7395 7154