TOP STORY
February 16, 2017

MAKING A PITCH FOR FOOTBALL'S FUTURE SUPERSTARS

Schalke 04’s Nabil Bentaled was elected ‘’Rookie of the First Half of the Season’’.

Swiss luxury watch brand TAG Heuer, the official partner and official timekeeper of the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga, is continuing to step up its activities in one of the world's most prestigious football leagues.

TAG Heuer is coming together with the German Bundesliga to launch the Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer. TAG Heuer is thereby not only lending its name to the new award, but also taking the initiative to recognise the skill of up-and-coming players at an early stage.

For TAG Heuer and the German Football League (DFL), launching the Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer is about more than simply creating a new accolade – it is about awarding a prize that highlights the importance of nurturing young talent, in particular with regard to their reputation and gaining acceptance among fans, players and clubs. This award will give young players in the Bundesliga's 18 clubs a unique platform on which they can present themselves and showcase their talent.

TAG Heuer and the Bundesliga will use official match data to nominate the three most successful rookies each month. These three talented newcomers will then be put to an online vote at www.rookie-award.com – a new website created especially for the award – where fans will choose the winner for that month. Potential candidates must be no older than 21 at the start of the Bundesliga season and they cannot have played in the Bundesliga before.

In-depth analysis of data from the first half of the 2016/17 season has already produced three candidates who were in the running for "Rookie of the First Half of the Season". These are Naby Deco Keita from RB Leipzig, Ousmane Dembélé from Borussia Dortmund and Nabil Bentaleb from FC Schalke 04, who won. The regular monthly "Rookie of the Month" votes will then start in March.

At the end of each season TAG Heuer will award among all winners the ‘’Rookie of the Season“.

The official face of the Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer is TAG Heuer ambassador Mats Hummels. The reigning world champion and world-class defender, who has been German national champion several times, was once a rookie in the Bundesliga himself. Mats says of the new Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer: "I still remember my time as a rookie well, always having a clear objective in mind: Signing my first professional contract, playing in the Bundesliga for the first time. Then scoring my first goal, and playing in my first championship. Those moments were spine-tingling. The Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer will now give a newcomer every season the opportunity to live this dream and be rightly commended for doing so."

Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer and President of the LVMH Group Watch Division, adds: "Throughout the world, from east to west – we are involved in football everywhere. We work in partnership with the best of the best around the globe, such as the German Bundesliga, the English Premier League, the Spanish LaLiga, the Chinese Super League, American Major League Soccer, the Japanese J. League, the Australian national football team, Manchester United and many others. Our global commitment to football calls for us to cultivate young talent together with our partners. This is why I am delighted with the creation of the new Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer and the investment this will make in the future of football."