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FC Bayern ready for two appearances and Arsenal FC to debut in the world’s leading pre-season tournament
Audi, Neo Online, DER Floor, WuCiYuan Herbal Products and Emirates as sponsors of 2017 ICC
SHANGHAI, (March 14, 2017) –Catalyst Media Group, Relevant Sports today announced the line-up and match schedule for 2017 International Champions Cup in China (ICC China). AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern, Arsenal FC, and FC Internazionale will clash in four contests in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Nanjing in this July. It’s the 3rd consecutive year the world’s leading pre-season football tournament to take place in China.
Clash of the champions
ICC China provides premium football experience for Chinese football & sports lovers and a platform for European super clubs to connect with their fans in China.
At an event attended by over 150 guests and media in Shanghai today, ICC China celebrated the announcement of another set of world-class match-ups in the world’s most populous nation, with a theme linked to Chinese martial arts history. In a famous Chinese martial-art story, the very best Kung Fu masters gathered around Mount Hua each year to compete and test each-others skills. Similarly, ICC China has become an annual show-case of the world’s best football talent, from top European football clubs that are admired among Chinese football fans.
In its 3rd year, ICC China has welcomed its strongest ever line-up in 2017.
FC Bayern & Dortmund represent the top level in Bundesliga – which was named the most influential foreign league on Chinese social media in 2016. Dortmund, 8-times German champion and one of the most in-form sides in Europe currently (recently qualified for the Champions League Quarter-Finals) are not only famous for their on-field results, but their incredibly passionate fans. Indeed, one of the highlights of last year’s ICC China was the noise and color of thousands of Dortmund fans in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Their famous ‘yellow’ fans are now set to flood Guangzhou, for the first clash of ICC China 2017 against one of Europe’s most successful clubs of all-times, AC Milan.
As one the most successful and most popular football clubs in the world, FC Bayern need little introduction. Boasting a quad of globally renowned super stars year after year, the five times winner of the UEFA Champions League will be out to impress their huge Chinese fan base. Bayern has been crowned by Mailman Group’s highly respected ‘Red Card Report’ as the ‘Most Engaged’ foreign football club on Chinese social media in 2015 and 2016. The FC Bayern Audi Football Summit show in China this summer will open with a blockbuster clash against Arsenal on Jul 19th in Shanghai, and then play against AC Milan on Jul 22nd in Shenzhen. Between them, FC Bayern and AC Milan hold 44 domestic league titles and 12 UEFA Champions League titles.
Arsenal, one of England’s most successful clubs both past and present will make its ICC debut in China, home to one of its largest fan bases worldwide. The match against FC Bayern in Shanghai will be the ‘Gunners’ first in China.
To conclude ICC China 2017, Chinese fans will witness the 291th Milan derby in Nanjing on Jul 24th. The Milan clubs are known to have two of the biggest fan bases in China, thanks to their long-standing engagement in China and impressive trophy list. This year there will be added pressure around this always-heated fixture, as it will be the first time for Inter to play in China since the arrival of the new owner – Nanjing-based Suning Group.
On behalf of each club, Franco Baresi, Lars Ricken, Hasan Salihamidzic, Gilberto Silva and Walter Zenga pulled individually crafted swords from a stone to announce the official launch of ICC China 2017.
The International Champions Cup (ICC) brings together top-tier European clubs every year since 2013, and provides premium & passionate football experience for local fans.
Patrick Murphy, Chairman and President of Catalyst Media Group said, “Since we brought ICC to China two years ago, we have achieved 91% brand awareness amongst Chinese football fans, attracted over 100 million TV viewers and our social media reach doubled year-on-year to 79 million. The ICC has truly revolutionized the pre-season touring experience for players, fans and commercial partners. We are now well established in China, so 2017 we aim to bring evolution in key areas.”
Having partnered with many great global and domestic brands in its first two years, ICC China confirmed the first wave of key partners for 2017.
Shenzhen-based Kaisa Culture Group joins the ICC “family” as “Strategic Match Promoter”, responsible for the management, promotion, sale and distribution of tickets to all four matches.
Premium global car brand Audi, who is a key partner of many world’s top clubs (including FC Bayern), joins as Presenting Partner for Shanghai and Shenzhen. This partnership comes after Audi was the Presenting Partner of ICC Australia in 2015 and 2016
In addition, Premium Partner Neo Online announced the charity partnership with an activation theme focusing on kids with passion in sports and life. With the concept of “Making the World Bigger for Kids”, Neo Online committed itself to working closely with ICC China and directing many of its partnership rights towards providing special experiences to kids living in poverty-stricken area.
Finally, Der Floor were announced as the second Premium Partner, joined by Official Sponsors Emirates and Wuciyuan Herbal Products. Catalyst confirmed it expects to have a number of additional partners, both local and global brands, in the coming months.
ICC China 2017 Planned Match Schedule
AC Milan vs Borussia Dortmund
18th July 2017
FC Bayern Munich vs Arsenal Football Club
19th July 2017
FC Bayern Munich vs AC Milan
22nd July 2017
FC Internazionale vs AC Milan
24th July 2017
About International Champions Cup
The International Champions Cup is an annual summer football tournament created by Relevent Sports and developed in Asia-Pacific by sister company Catalyst Media Group, featuring the best clubs from around the world. A staple property of Relevent Sports and RSE Ventures, the International Champions Cup brings the best in football to iconic sports venues across North America, Australia, Europe and China.
The International Champions Cup has hosted some of the most iconic matchups in the world, including the largest attended soccer match in U.S. history, when 109,318 fans saw Real Madrid and Manchester United play at the “Big House” at the University of Michigan. In its four-year history, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have all won installments of the tournament.
About International Champions Cup China Upon rich operating experience and enormous enthusiasm for football, International Champions Cup China (ICC China) is dedicated to full-dimensional premium European football experience for Chinese fans. As a world’s leading pre-season football tournament, ICC China brings along the top European football culture and football lifestyle in China.
ICC China 2015 saw Real Madrid CF, AC Milan and FC Internazionale battle in front of passionate crowds in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Real were crowned ICC China’s inaugural winner in a tournament that featured Philippe Mexes’ wonder-goal in Shenzhen, which would later be named as one of the best 10 goals of 2015 by FIFA.
In 2016 summer, the war horn blew again in Shanghai & Shenzhen, bringing 3 European high flights among Chinese football fans. The penalty shootout between Manchester City & Borussia Dortmund in Shenzhen has become a historic moment for major local fans & online audiences across the nation, as well a perfect curtain call for 2016’s tournament.
About Catalyst Media Group
Catalyst Media Group, also known as Catalyst, is a young and dynamic international sports marketing business based in Hong Kong with representative offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore respectively, which is committed to create, acquire, develop and advise premium sports properties and entertainment projects. Catalyst’s activities and networks span the globe, with a focus on Asia-Paciﬁc and in particular the most in-demand sports market in the world: China. Catalyst is the exclusive developer of the International Champions Cup in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the global distributor of the event media rights.
About Relevent Sports
Relevent Sports provides an innovative approach to building a soccer presence in the United States and around the globe. Relevent Sports showcases the best match-ups and tournaments in soccer featuring the top clubs, international teams and players. Since 2013, Relevent Sports has organized the International Champions Cup; the premier preseason tournament featuring the top European clubs with matches in North America, Europe and Asia. Utilizing brand development, grassroots planning, corporate sponsors, international touring and philanthropic initiatives, Relevent Sports promotes and grows the love of soccer worldwide.