HONG KONG, (February 5, 2016) – Relevent Sports, Catalyst Media Group, and LeSports announced today that the hugely successful International Champions Cup (ICC) tournament will be back to China in 2016, with star-studded Manchester City the first of three teams to be announced for the ICC China this July.
The tournament, created by Relevent Sports and developed in Asia-Pacific by sister company Catalyst Media Group, has revolutionized the pre-season touring experience for the world’s top international club teams. Since the premier edition in North America in 2013, the tournament has featured matches across the USA, Mexico, Canada, England and Italy, as well as full-tournaments in both Australia and the most in-demand sports market in the world – China.
ICC China 2015 saw global icons such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Carlos Bacca battle in front of passionate crowds in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Real Madrid were crowned ICC China’s inaugural winner in a tournament that featured Philippe Mexes’ wonder-goal in Shenzhen, later named as one of the best 10 goals of 2015 by FIFA.
Manchester City, who won the English Premier League in 2011-12 and 2013-14, will come to China as part of the International Champions Cup China for the first time.
Fans can expect imminent announcements of the other participating clubs for ICC China 2016, as well as host cities and venues.
"The International Champions Cup China was an enormous success in 2015 and we are excited to announce our return in 2016," said David Tyler, CEO of Relevent Sports. "After an incredible debut edition, we look forward to even more success this coming summer. We are also proud to announce that Manchester City, one of the biggest global brands, will take part in the International Champions Cup China and look forward to the competition."
Patrick Murphy, CEO of Catalyst Media Group said, “After an amazing response from fans in 2015, we are delighted to confirm ICC’s return to China and the participation of one of the ‘it’ clubs in world football. The progress of football in China is impressive and we are honored to be part of that. We’ll be working with all our clubs, strategic partner LeSports and sponsors to ensure ICC China raises the benchmark again for premium football tours in the market. Fans in China deserve an engaging, meaningful and annually consistent platform to consume premium football – ICC China is exactly that. ”
Mr LEI Zhenjian, CEO of Lesports said, “Lesports will be operating a huge number of events in 2016 and ICC will be one of the baggiest. On behalf Lesports, I welcome Manchester City FC participation this year in China. ”
In 2015, nearly one million fans attended ICC matches globally to watch the biggest clubs in world football including Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Internazionale and AS Roma. The 2015 event was broadcast to over 165 territories globally and drew a cumulative audience of nearly 80 million in the Asia-Pacific region alone.
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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. (CMG) is a Hong Kong based company, with offices in Shanghai and Singapore, that acquires, creates, develops and delivers premium entertainment properties.
CMG’s networks and activities span the globe, with a particular emphasis on Asia-Pacific and in particular, the rapidly developing football market in China. CMG exclusively develops the ICC in Asia-Pacific and is also responsible for the tournament’s global media rights.
About Le Sports In March 2014, Letv Sports Culture Develop (Beijing) Co., Ltd. was officially established based on the former sports.letv.com. The video-streaming website was therefore transformed into an eco-sports company covering the whole industrial chain with its event operation, content platform, smart devices and value-added service. On May 13, 2015, Le Sports raised RMB 800 million in its Series A funding, boosting the company’s valuation to RMB 2.8 billion. Series B funding was initiated in September 2015.
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.