Manchester City extends deal with Chinese robotic firm UBTECH

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Premier League giants Manchester City have inked a deal extension with UBTECH Robotics Corp.

The Chinese robotic firm will continue to serve as the official robot partner of the English club in a first of a kind partnership in the world of sports.

UBTECH, since the launch of the partnership in 2016, has been producing engaging content for Man City fans around the world through its robots, including the Alpha 2 robot ‘signing’ for Manchester City as a new squad member. The robots have also been part of matchday entertainment with fun displays on the pitch at the Etihad Stadium and in City Square.

With the extension of the deal, the Cruzr robot may be seen at the Etihad Stadium during the 2018-19 season providing fans and guests with match day and retail information, adding extra excitement to the experience. The duration of the deal was not disclosed, but it is likely to be a two-year deal with an option for automatic renewal.

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Last season, UBTECH Robotics teamed up with the Club’s foundation, City in the Community to deliver bespoke STEM and coding lessons to schools across Greater Manchester through the use of the JIMU robot range. The partnership has now been implemented to over 1,120 children across 45 local primary schools, equipping students with valuable skills to help prepare them for upcoming and future trends in the digital world.

City Football Group have said that the deal with UBTECH will be soon announced for other franchisees in its football business portfolio in the following months including Melbourne City and New York City in the following months.

Damian Willoughby, Senior Vice President of Partnerships at City Football Group, said, “We are delighted to announce this extension to our partnership with UBTECH. This is a truly unique partnership that has provided entertaining content between fans, players and robots that has been enjoyed around the world.”

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“We look forward to working with UBTECH further over the coming years and are excited to further explore the relationship between football and robotics.”

Zhou Jian, founder and CEO at UBTECH, said, “In the past two years, through a combination of sports, entertainment and artificial intelligence, we have joined forces to explore a new way of innovation. As a professional and innovative team, Manchester City is a natural fit for us. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership.”