One of the world’s biggest soccer tournaments just got even bigger, as the International Champions Cup (ICC) has announced its global expansion for 2015.
The ICC, which has been played in the United States and Canada the last two years, will bring UEFA’s best soccer clubs to compete in parallel tournaments across North America, Australia and China this summer. European powerhouses Real Madrid CF, Manchester City and AS Roma have already been confirmed as part of this years tour.
“The International Champions Cup is a truly global property, spanning three continents and featuring the most prestigious soccer clubs in the world,” said Matt Higgins, CEO of RSE Ventures, the sports, entertainment and technology company co-founded by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. “We are proud of the rapid growth of the tournament and look forward to delivering the best in-venue experience and television broadcasts to fans, not only in China, Australia and North America, but across the globe.”
In the summer of 2013, Relevent Sports (a subsidiary of RSE Ventures) helped transform the international soccer landscape by organizing the inaugural ICC, an innovative transformation of the traditional European club pre-season tours into a competitive tournament. The inaugural edition featured eight top clubs – Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Valencia, Everton and L.A. Galaxy
On the heels of an strong performance by the US men’s team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the tournament again took America by storm last summer, hosting the largest crowds the sport has ever seen in the country. That included a record setting 109,000 spectators at the University of Michigan for Manchester United v. Real Madrid. More than 631,000 fans attended in 2014, with a global audience of over 80 million tuning in from over 150 countries to watch.
The 2015 International Champions Cup is expected to reach a global audience of over one billion.