The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. has signed an agreement with Orange Sports Forum Foundation—the national body for sports and sports business development in The Netherlands—to host a business delegation and soccer team in Manatee County in April 2021, according to Sharon Hillstrom, EDC president and CEO. More than a dozen sports-related businesses from The Netherlands are expected to participate, and IMG Academy will provide training and competition venues and services for the visiting soccer team.
The initiative grew from relationships the EDC established during a trade mission to The Netherlands in 2019. The agreement with Orange Sports Forum envisions a long-term collaboration of trade exchanges and sports industry development between the European nation and the Bradenton area. In addition to the activities next April, the EDC is working to secure The Netherlands’ soccer World Cup training in 2026 and pre-training for the Olympics in 2028.