Ready for the Global Stage

“The 2015 International Champions Cup demonstrates the demand for our property both in the United States and abroad. We expect to see more fans, more excitement and more sell-outs than ever before,” our CEO, Matt Higgins said as he kicked off Tuesday’s ICC press conference.

Starting July 11th, the ICC will host 23 matches in 19 venues across the United States, China, Europe and Australia attracting over 1.1 million fans in less than 4 weeks. The tournament will feature some of the world’s premier clubs including: Manchester United, Chelsea FC, Barcelona FC, Real Madrid, Manchester City, AC Milan and PSG.

This year, the tournament’s attendance is expected to nearly double, global TV viewership will grow to 140 million and the household reach will increase to 800 million. These projected stats alone made the decision to expand globally in 2015 an easy one. The overwhelming traction year-over-year also meant that the initial vision shared by founders Stephen Ross, Matt Higgins and Charlie Stillitano was correct: There is an unmet global demand for premier soccer in the off-season.

Prior to the ICC, fans outside of Europe could only watch competitive international soccer on TV and stay connected through social media. What they missed was the competitive live experience; the opportunity to chant with fellow fans, breathe the same air, and witness the finesse and speed of the game that can only be captured live.

In 2013, when we began drawing up the blueprints for the ICC, the vision was simple: build an opportunity for fans around the world to get more exposure to the game they love. Leveraging our long-standing relationships in soccer, we created a centralized tournament that harnessed the preseason to unite the world’s top clubs with their global following. Thus, the International Champions Cup was born.

By adding seven more clubs and six more venues, the 2015 tournament promises to set new records in both the US and abroad. Just last year, the US attendance record for a soccer match was shattered when 109,318 fans showed up to watch Manchester United defeat Real Madrid 3–1 in Ann Arbor.

Last year, the ICC picked up where the World Cup left off and continued what was the “summer of soccer” for fans across the US. For many of us, it brought the stars from Brazil to our backyards and gave us a front row seat to the highest caliber of play. It’s clear that the 2015 ICC is poised to deliver again, bringing the world’s biggest soccer stars to the global stage this summer.

We hope to see you there.