NEW YORK (May 22, 2015) – Relevent Sports, a division of RSE Ventures – a multi-national sports and entertainment venture firm with a focus on new technologies – today announced that Portuguese champions S.L. Benfica will compete in the 2015 International Champions Cup North America Presented by Guinness Beer in place of FC Porto.
FC Porto has communicated its inability to complete their full schedule in the 2015 International Champions Cup and has therefore been replaced.
Benfica, who wrapped up the Portuguese league title with their victory this past Sunday, will be the sixth current first division domestic league champion participating in this summer’s the International Champions Cup (Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona, Club America, LA Galaxy and Benfica).
Benfica will play the same schedule originally set for FC Porto and start in Toronto, where they will face French league champion Paris Saint-Germain at BMO Field on Saturday, July 18. They will then play ACF Fiorentina on Friday, July 24 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford and then travel to New York to face the New York Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, July 26. Benfica will conclude its portion of the 2015 International Champions Cup North America when it faces Mexican champions Club America on July 28 at a venue to be announced.
For more ticket information or more information on these matchups, or other International Champions Cup contests, please visit www.internationalchampionscup.com.
For all FC Porto fans that have purchased tickets to the club’s matches, full refunds will be available at the point of sale. All tickets that have been purchased previously prior to the change in teams will be honored.
“We are very excited to add an incredible team like Benfica to our tournament,” said Charlie Stillitano, Chairman of Relevent Sports. “Adding the current Portuguese champions fits within our goal to consistently feature the highest quality teams.”
The 2015 International Champions Cup North America will run from July 11 – August 5 and feature 17 matches played across 12 regions throughout the world. Each team will play four contests and the club with the most points at the end of the tournament will be crowned champion. Each win in regulation will result in three points and a tie will go straight to a shootout; the winning team in a shootout will receive two points and the losing team will receive one. The results from in-season Major League Soccer contests involving tournament participants will be used as part of official tournament scoring.
In total, 10 teams from across the globe, including England (Manchester United F.C., Chelsea F.C.), Portugal (S.L. Benfica), France (Paris Saint-Germain), Mexico (Club América), Spain (Barcelona), Italy (ACF Fiorentina) and the United States (San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls) will compete in the 2015 International Champions Cup North America. The participating teams have won a total of 108 domestic league titles, 107 domestic cup titles, six CONCACAF Champions League titles and 10 UEFA Champions League titles. The teams feature nine of the 2014-2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or nominees, as well as 30 of the top 100 players in the world as chosen yearly by renowned English magazine FourFourTwo.
In 2015, the International Champions Cup will expand into new continents, as both China and Australia will host versions of the tournament during the summer. A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid will play in the International Champions Cup China in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai that runs from July 25- July 29. Real Madrid, Manchester City and AS Roma will play in the International Champions Cup Australia in Melbourne from July 18-24, providing even more fans from around the world the opportunity to see their favorite clubs live. Further details about the 2015 International Champions Cup can be found at www.internationalchampionscup.com.
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 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.