2017 INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP
International soccer took a huge leap forward in 2013, with the introduction of a highly competitive soccer tournament called the International Champions Cup. Stephan M. Ross collaborated with Relevant Sports to organize the Guinness International Champions Cup (ICC), which transformed the typical European preseason exhibition tour into one of the most competitive soccer tournaments in the world. The first ICC tournament featured eight teams that player in six United States cities.
Three regions hosted the 2017 version of the event, which was the fifth edition of friendly association football matches held since 2013. Fans of soccer in China, Singapore, and the United States welcomed the best football clubs and the most skilled players in the world. The tournament began on July 18, 2017, with the last match held on July 30, 2017.
More than 800,000 soccer fans attended the 2016 International Champions Cup and about 70 million people tuned in to watch at least one of the matches on television. Although the 2017 numbers have yet to be released, attendance and viewership numbers should break records, especially with ESPN featuring the tournament in some prime time slots.
United States Matches
American cities that include Detroit, Houston, and Santa Clara, California hosted 2017 ICC matches. The United States welcomed the top of the world football class, as Roma, Barcelona, Paris Germain, and Manchester United entertained soccer fans that traveled from all over the world to catch the event live.
A stunning finish by Roma and Tottenham at Red Bull Arena located in Harrison, New Jersey highlighted the American leg of the ICC. Day long rain tempered the scorching New Jersey heat to produce the consummate weather conditions for an international soccer match. Two powerful starting lineups created an intense and high tempo soccer match from the beginning. Both squads started new players on defense, and the lack of experience defending both zones showed early on in the match.
The wildly entertaining match included two late goals by Tottenham to tie the score at 2. Roma’s Marco Tumminello kicked a bending laser shot into the goal at the 92-minute mark to give Roma that victory.
What’s in Store for 2018
When Visit Orlando landed a sponsorship deal for the ICC, the tournament reached a new level of popularity. American cities that want to host one or more matches of the ICC must present the same powerful marketing message deliver by Orlando, Florida civic leaders. Relevant Sports chief commercial officer, Bruce Bundrant said a city like Orlando is a very easy destination to promote the ICC because the city offers a wide variety of entertainment events. "People can schedule their holidays around this time," he said. "They're not just going to fly in and fly out for the game."
Where else some of the world’s best soccer clubs play in the United States for the 2018 version of the ICC still remains unclear. ICC organizers want to establish the same connections the organization has established with tourist destinations such as Orlando.