HONG KONG (June 26, 2015) – Relevent Sports, Catalyst Media Group, divisions of RSE Ventures, and Letv Sports, today announced the 2015 International Champions Cup China has signed its first wave of sponsors for the inaugural tournament on initial one-year deals. Headlining the announcements for 2015 is Samsung, who will take up a Premium Partner position. Joining Samsung are fellow global brands Adidas and EA Sports as well as Chinese electrical bicycle manufacturer Luyuan and electronics retailer Suning. In its third year, the International Champions Cup will be televised in 169 countries and territories across the world and will stage matches in seven countries, including China for the first-time, where Real Madrid CF, Internazionale FC and AC Milan will play matches in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Samsung, who have a strong heritage in football, are set to roll-out a large-scale activation campaign around the International Champions Cup China. The Korean brand will primarily promote their mobile phone handsets, having recently launched the Galaxy S6 in China to much fanfare. They will use the platform to engage young affluent football fans in key markets and promote their premium international image – a position shared with the International Champions Cup.
“We plan to deliver Chinese fans a consistent platform to engage with the world’s best club in their own country. Having partners such as Samsung from day-one will be an important part of achieving that so we welcome them to the family. As a premium international brand with a track record in engaging football fans, they are a perfect fit as our first Premium Partner of International Champions Cup China” said Charlie Stillitano, Chairman of Relevent Sports.
In announcing the landmark sponsorship, a spokesperson for Samsung Greater China said: “Football is one of the most popular sports in China, every weekend, there are hundreds of million Chinese fans in front of televisions watching the highest level European football matches. By partnering with International Champions Cup China, we hope to deliver benefits to our customer, and play a part in Chinese fans having the rare chance to see the very best football and the biggest stars up-close.”
“China is one of the world’s biggest football markets, momentum is building and there is clear demand for top-quality football on a regular basis. In the first year of the International Champions Cup China, it is fantastic to have a global brand such as Samsung endorse our vision. With passionate local fans now set to experience the tournament live for the first time, we look forward to helping Samsung reach their objectives and enhance the fan experience.” said Patrick Murphy, CEO of Catalyst Media Group.
Mixing global reach and deep local engagement, the International Champions Cup has attracted both international and global brands. Luyuan, who are also a sponsor of headline club Real Madrid CF, are headquartered in Zhejiang and will use the tournament to further build their association with top European football, while Suning recently entered into a partnership with Real’s Spanish rival FC Barcelona.
Adidas and EA Sports have a rich history in football and will integrate the International Champions Cup heavily into their football communications over the summer period. EA Sports will give Chinese users of its hugely popular FIFA Online 3 game the opportunity to play an authentic International Champions Cup mode through the month of July.
The International Champions Cup will also hold tournaments in North America and Australia. Confirmed sponsors for the Australia tournament include Presenting Partner Audi, Victorian Government, Telstra, Samsung, Indeed.com, CrownBet, Crown Hotels, Tag Heur & Nike.
In North America, sponsorship rights are sold and managed by Ascendent Sports Group, also a division of RSE Ventures. The North American tournament sponsorship program is headlined by Guinness, along with Vivid Seats, Indeed.com, Bleacher Report, Draft Kings, Groupon Live and AON. The tournament expects to add a handful of additional partners over the coming months.
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 matchups and tournaments in soccer featuring the top clubs, international teams and players. In addition to hosting the International Champions Cup annually every summer, Relevent Sports works closely with national teams including Brazil, Argentina and Portugal to host exhibition matches in major sports venues throughout the year. Utilizing brand development, grassroots planning, corporate sponsors, international touring and philanthropic initiatives, Relevent Sports promotes and grows the love of soccer worldwide.
About Catalyst Media Group
Catalyst Media Group Ltd. is a Hong Kong based company that acquires, creates and develops international and Asian sports and entertainment properties. Catalyst represents Relevent Sports in the sale and delivery of International Champions Cup global media & sponsorship rights as well as expansion into the Asia-Pacific region.
Catalyst has an experienced team of sports industry professional with diverse backgrounds in premium Global football events, media and sponsorship rights and deep knowledge of the Asia-Pacific market.
Letv Sports is a user-centric sports service provider that possesses a “sports-geek spirit”. By providing sports Live content and the unique eco-system to users across PC, mobile devices and smart TV, Letv sports currently has 14 million DVV, with 3.5 millions DUV and 30 millions MUV.
Letv Sports is a subsidiary of Letv Holdings, whose businesses spans from Internet TV, video production and distribution, smart gadgets and large-screen applications to e-commerce, eco-agriculture and Internet-linked super-electric cars, which announced in late 2014.
Letv Sports is the primary strategic partner of International Champions Cup China.
About the International Champions Cup
The International Champions Cup is an annual summer soccer tournament organized by Relevent Sports, 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 soccer to iconic sports venues across North America, Australia, Europe and China.
Last year, the International Champions Cup featured premier European clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester City, AC Milan, Roma, Inter Milan and Olympiacos. The tournament, played across 13 North American cities, saw Manchester United go undefeated en route to the championship. The International Champions Cup also featured the largest attended soccer match in United States history, when 109,318 fans packed the “Big House” at the University of Michigan to witness Manchester United defeat Real Madrid. The inaugural tournament in 2013 featured eight clubs – Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Valencia, Everton and the L.A. Galaxy. It concluded with Real Madrid’s victory over Chelsea in front of nearly 70,000 fans.
Since its inception in 2013, more than one million fans have packed stadiums to watch clubs compete in the International Champions Cup, along with more than 700 million households watching worldwide. In 2015, the tournament will expand to Asia and Australia, as it continues to grow rapidly and attract fans from all over the world.
About RSE Ventures
Founded in 2012 by Stephen M. Ross and Matt Higgins, RSE Ventures is a multi-national sports and entertainment venture firm with a focus on new technologies. RSE builds, owns and operates companies in sports, media, entertainment and technology, including Catalyst Media Group, VaynerMedia, Vayner/RSE, Relevent Sports, Ascendent Sports Group and the International Champions Cup.