Mastercard turns dream into reality for Saudi football fan

Basmah Alshnaifi with global footballers in the final match of UEFA Champions League.
Updated 11 June 2019

Mastercard turns dream into reality for Saudi football fan

Basmah Nawaf Alshnaifi, a 10-year-old girl from Saudi Arabia with a passion for football, was given the opportunity of a lifetime, to become the first female Saudi mascot at the UEFA Champions League. The unique experience was made possible for her thanks to Mastercard. 

As the official sponsor of the sporting tournament, Mastercard provided an opportunity for Alshnaifi to walk the stadium with global footballers in the final match of UEFA Champions League in Madrid. 

The payments technology company offered Saudi cardholders the chance to win a surprise ticket by using their Mastercard debit and credit cards for everyday payments.  

J.K. Khalil, general manager in Mastercard, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to offering cardholders priceless opportunities that allow them to pursue their passions. It is heartening to see such unbridled enthusiasm for football among young Saudi girls today, and we couldn’t be happier to make Basmah’s dream a reality. By innovating in the way we engage with consumers, we will continue to bring unique campaigns to the Kingdom that resonate with the people’s passions and make everyday digital payments simple, secure and rewarding.” 

Alshnaifi was given a ticket to the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham and Liverpool, where she got the chance to be the mascot for football legends. 

“I never thought I would ever have such an experience in my life. I have always had the dream to play in a big stadium and today I am present in the UEFA Champions League Final as a player mascot. I want to thank Mastercard for making this happen. This is the best gift I’ve ever received and I will always remember it, thank you as well to my family and academy for supporting me,” Alshnaifi said.  

Mastercard has been a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994, and recently added two women’s football clubs, Arsenal Football Club and Olympique Lynonais to its global portfolio, sending a signal for gender equality in sports.


AbbVie spotlights pharma sector at KAU workshop

Updated 15 min 53 sec ago

AbbVie spotlights pharma sector at KAU workshop

In partnership with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) hosted an educational workshop to encourage more of its students to enter pharmaceutical careers after graduation. The workshop offered unique insights into the scientific role of a pharmacist to more than 100 male and female students from the university. 

Dr. Hani Asfour, dean of the College of Pharmacy at KAU, said: “It was a rewarding experience to see our students participate in this workshop for the first time. With the support of AbbVie, our students were able to learn more about the promising careers which await them in the pharmaceutical sector. They are now extremely eager and excited about their future prospects. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.” 

Ashraf Daoud, general manager of AbbVie in Saudi Arabia, said: “At AbbVie, we are proud to continue investing in the Saudi national pharmacists of tomorrow. Through our many partnerships with local universities, such as KAU, we are highly dedicated to supporting the Kingdom’s goals, as expressed in Vision 2030, and helping our aspiring Saudi pharmacists in reaching their full potential.” 

The workshop covered topics such as an overview of the pharmaceutical industry landscape, the importance of the medical representative role, key marketing concepts in pharma, as well as tips and advice on how to write a CV and prepare for interviews. Students also had the opportunity to speak to the AbbVie in-field team of pharmacists who answered their career questions and queries.

Khaled Fageha, HR director of AbbVie in Saudi Arabia, said: “As a global pharmaceutical company, there is an ever-growing need to attract the brightest Saudi talent and increase the talent pool of pharmacists. There is so much potential in the Kingdom, which we are always striving to unlock at AbbVie. Through initiatives like this, we are able to equip students across Saudi Arabia with the tools and knowledge to help them thrive in the health care industry, as well as ignite their passion for a career in pharmacy.”

Students said they found the workshop informative. “I’ve always been passionate about a role in pharmacy, but I was a bit unsure about what awaits after graduation. Thanks to this workshop, I was able to hear about the exciting prospects of working at a pharmaceutical company, such as AbbVie. I was able to ask all my questions, and now I am excited to continue working hard so I can begin my journey as a pharmacist,” said Sondos Alkhthlan, a student.

Another student, Nawaf Alharthi said: “This was an engaging workshop which has cemented my interest in becoming a pharmacist after graduating from KAU.”