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Episode 87 of the Leaders Sport Business Podcast features a conversation with Danny Sillman (starts at 11:22), the CEO of the Stephen Ross-owned football events and media company Relevent Sports, the promoter behind the International Champions Cup (ICC). The ICC was founded in 2013 and has evolved to become the preeminent annual friendly competition for European football clubs in North America and Asia. Earlier this year, Ross declared that competition needed to become more ‘meaningful’ in order to grow and, more pertinently for the short-term, guarantee his continued funding.
To that end, in early March, Relevent looked set to announce an endorsement from European football body UEFA that would have elevated the tournament to a new status. The Covid-19 crisis put paid to that announcement, but Sillman insists that the opportunity to grow the competition and reshape the football calendar not only remains, but is bigger than ever.
On the conversational agenda:
– Doubling down on positioning Relevent Sports as ‘the solution’ for European football clubs faced with revenue shortfalls;
– Partnering with leagues and clubs as a ‘content development partner’, not just an events organiser;
– The LaLiga JV relationship and its coming expansion, and the replication of that relationship with other leagues;
– The competitive dynamic between FIFA’s revamped Club World Cup – postponed from its launch in 2021 after UEFA’s decision to move the postponed Euro 2020 to next summer – and the UEFA-backed International Champions Cup;
“We feel our product is the most intriguing for global audiences, however that doesn’t mean there’s not room for both competitions.” Danny Sillman, CEO, Relevent Sports.
– Making the ICC more meaningful – more competitive, with better, more compelling storylines – and doing it with the blessing of a major governing body;
– What Sillman would do if he were made FIFA President.