“Soccer” it to ’em!
January 24, 2018
Is the USA ready for “world-class” football? One of the major obstacle is, of course, the name of the game. In the US, “football” has an entirely different connotation and meaning. Only Americans call football ‘soccer”. This is only one of the many interesting obstacles that Relevent Sports has had to overcome to create the first truly global sports league, the International Champions Cup (ICC), a series of football tournaments that have taken place every year from 2013 onwards and are held during the summer breaks of the big football leagues. The International World Champions’ Cup 2009-2012 is the successor to the World Cup Challenges.
The “big” football clubs are “big” because of their regional glamour, mostly European of course. As we already know, European clubs feature international players from all over the world. But only every 4 years, during the World Cup, do we get to see these players compete with and against each other. The International World Champions Cup provides the opportunity to showcase international starts to an international audience.
With Juventus Turin and Real Madrid as the most important participants, the preparation tournament for the Champions’ Cup started this summer in the USA. In addition, there is also a Champions Cup for Asia and Australia where the majority of matches take place in China. A great selection of the best European teams arrived in China, including Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale, Milan and Olympique Lyonnais, who all took part in the 2017 International Cup. For example, it was AC Milan v Borussia Dortmund for the International Championship Cup of China. When the ICC says “International”, they mean exactly that. .
The impetus doesn’t come from just fans, but the International clubs and their players both find it works to their advantage. In addition to obvious extra exposure, clubs can act as “brands” and reach a much greater audience than just their local European regions. This is the reason why Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich play World Cup matches not in Europe, but in China and the USA. Online revenue centers around finding something special for your favourite football fan, buying from the official online store of the International Champions Cup and its great assortment of youth and collector sets.
The challenge for such clubs as FC Bayern is, on the one hand, to promote internationalisation without losing the brand’s essence. Hopefully, by being able to add all these brands under one umbrella each individual brand not only expands exponentially but still allows each club a maximum of control over what that brand means to its fan and, even, its country of origin. In other words the marketing potential is limitless.