Sonera is looking for athletes to its Next Generation team

Sonera launches a search for athletes to create a new Next Generation team for 2009–2011. Next Generation, launched in 2003, is a communal, new-generation sponsoring concept based on cooperation between experienced top athletes, young talents and a network of sport experts.

“We will launch a recruitment process to find talented and motivated athletes practising individual sports for our Next Generation team. Six years’ experience from the NG community has taught a lot to both athletes and us, and we definitely want to continue this project that has worked so well. For a new 3-year agreement period, we’re now looking for captains and tutored athletes ready to commit themselves to being part of this unique community and developing it further,” says Sanna Wester, Head of Brand, Media and Research at Sonera.

Next Generation is a network where experience and expertise are shared between the team members and people close to them. Captains, already at the international top, lead their own teams of tutored athletes. Young talents, in turn, gain access to a network of experts, which paves their way towards the international top.
“We are very happy about the way our junior athletes have achieved success at the international top level in the course of the past six years. In addition to success, another target of the project is to provide athletes with a sense of well-being and some space to breathe in the middle of their tough practice routines. To us, mental support and a sense of community are at least equally important elements as the support provided through coaching. Next Generation also opens an opportunity to get familiar with the way things are done in other sports  we have much too little cooperation between different sports in Finland,” says Mika Lehtimäki, who is charge of the project’s sport activities.

For those selected as captains, the NG cooperation means an agreement of the main sponsor level, and for tutored athletes, it means a significant financial input for training.

“We develop the team’s operation in continuous cooperation with Finnish sport experts. At this stage of recruitment, we’re being assisted by sport associations and coaches, whose expertise is vital in spotting the young talents of different sports," Wester continues.
More information on the background and the current Next Generation team is available at www.nextgene.fi (in Finnish only). At Kuulumisia you can read, for example, Sari Multala’s or Johanna Manninen’s thoughts about the eventful summer. At the web site, you will also find a form for applying to the new team. The application period ends on October 10, 2008, and the 3-year agreement period begins on January 1, 2009.

Further information:
Sanna Wester, Head of Brand, Media and Research, TeliaSonera Oyj, +358 40 7544584 or sanna.wester@teliasonera.com