Basketball World Cup in China: Barilla supports the italian team. Pasta a key player in the "azzurri" athletes' menu
24 July 2019
The Parma-based group, a very active sports sponsor, will support the FIP
(Italian Basketball Federation), sponsoring the blue jerseys worn by the Italian national team
at the 2019 World Cup in China. Chef Marcello Zaccaria of Academia Barilla will travel with the team, feeding them pasta, the perfect food for sportsmen - and not only.
With little more than a month to go for the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China, the Italian national team’s adventure has started with a rally in Milan. The many champions will be joined on the journey to China by another Italian icon: Barilla, the main sponsor of the men’s, women’s and junior Italian teams under the leadership of coach Meo Sacchetti and blue jerseys to convey the winning values of tradition, quality and passion that are shared by pasta and sport.
After all, basketball is energy, momentum, commitment, the search for perfection, just like Barilla pasta. And to fuel its dream, Italbasket will definitely need energy. The next challenges faced by the Italian team will be in Trento on July 30-31 in friendly matches against Romania and one between Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire. These will be followed by the international tournament with Russia, Senegal and Venezuela in Verona from August 8 to 10, the last stage before the World Cup in China.
CHEF MARCELLO ZACCARIA OF ACADEMIA BARILLA TO TRAVEL WITH THE ITALIAN NATIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM
The Italian national basketball team will be accompanied to China by Marcello Zaccaria, Corporate Chef of Academia Barilla, who will be arranging the best menu for our athletes, because every victory starts with a good meal. Pasta, a symbol of the Mediterranean diet, will be on the menu every day! Other ingredients like tomatoes, vegetables, Parmesan cheese and fish are just as important at the table.
“We want to make our athletes happy at the table too, making tasty and balanced meals for them that include pasta (a 100-110 g portion) and condiments, particularly tomatoes and vegetables. Pasta is the perfect food for basketball players, both before competitions - as an excellent source of energy - and later, to recover from an intense effort”.
PASTA, THE IDEAL ENERGY FOR OUR SPORTSMEN’S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS
Pasta is particularly suitable for anyone engaged in sports, particularly at a competitive level: it is a source of complex carbohydrates (and proteins), which provide athletes with slowly absorbed energy. It is perfect before a workout, if prepared plain or with a light dressing, and after sport it can also be eaten along with other foods, with more substantial sauces. There are countless demonstrations of the benefits of a “pasta diet”, which is now also successful across the Atlantic, in the Olympus of basketball. The NBA’s official website points out in its section dedicated to sports nutrition that carbohydrates must provide the biggest share of an athlete's calorie intake, citing pasta, especially the wholegrain variety, among the foods to be preferred. And many NBA stars are following this advice. Including LebronJames, who told Business Insider
that he eats pasta “because carbohydrates help you when you need to give your best and play for many minutes at a stretch”. Or James Harden, who eats pasta and grilled chicken before matches to have all the energy he needs until the final siren.
But in addition to being good for you, pasta is tasty and provides a greater psychological gratification than other diets. For Italians, pasta is also the pleasure of sitting around the table and spending time together. If you're a sports champion as well, eating spaghetti in company to celebrate an important victory is almost inevitable. Danilo Gallinari, for example, is already very clear about what to ask of chef Zaccaria: “Sardinian gnocchetti with gorgonzola, my favorite”.
ITALIAN PASTA IN CHINA: OVER 26,000 TONNES IN 2018, 10 YEARS AGO IT WAS 3,000…
This year, the Italian team’s expedition to China coincides with a particularly happy time for Italian pasta exports to the country, where Chinese noodles dominate. And interest in pasta, in Beijing and its surroundings, is growing all the time. In absolute terms, in 2018 China ranked 15th among made-in-Italy pasta consumers, with 26,500 tons eaten, worth around 21 million euros. But the approval of Italian pasta has practically doubled compared to 5 years ago, and is more than 9 times higher than 10 years ago, when Italy exported less than 3000 tons. The first 3 months of 2019 confirm this trend, + 25.4% compared to the same period of 2018.
BARILLA AND SPORTS SPONSORSHIPS
Barilla's sponsorship of the Italian National Basketball Team is part of a larger project that has led the company to invest again in sport and, for the first time in its history, to support a Federation and its National teams. Starting from the historic sponsorship of soccer team AS Roma, which won the Scudetto in the 1982-83 season, there are numerous examples of Barilla’s collaboration with the world of sports: above all the great Roger Federer, fresh from writing another page of tennis history at Wimbledon.
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