2017 INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP PRESENTED BY HEINEKEN® TO HOST EL CLÁSICO MIAMI BETWEEN REAL MADRID C.F. AND FC BARCELONA AT HARD ROCK STADIUM
Famed Clubs to Meet on July 29, 2017 for the First-Ever El Clásico in the United States Match will Mark the First Soccer Event Held at the Newly Renovated Hard Rock Stadium
MIAMI (March 10, 2017) – Relevent Sports announced today that defending La Liga champion FC Barcelona and defending UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid C.F. will meet on July 29, 2017 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., as part of the 2017 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken.
El Clásico Miami will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 7:30PM ET. VIP travel and ticket packages are available now via the official hotel, Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
The International Champions Cup was launched by Stephen Ross and Matt Higgins in 2013 with the creation of Relevent Sports, led by Charlie Stillitano and Jon Sheiman. El Clásico Miami will mark the first-ever match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. to take place in North America. Hailed as one of sport's all-time greatest rivalries, the current rosters for each club feature some of the best players in the world. Real Madrid C.F. is anchored by recently crowned FIFA Men’s Player of the Year and Ballon D’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, alongside Welsh superstar Gareth Bale, while perennial world-class Argentinean national, Lionel Messi, and famed Brazilian Neymar lead FC Barcelona.
“I am thrilled to bring the International Champions Cup back to the city of Miami,” said Stephen Ross, RSE Ventures chairman and co-founder and Miami Dolphins owner. “The opportunity to showcase two of the most storied clubs in the history of the sport is why we created this tournament. That it will take place at Hard Rock Stadium is a testament to the recent transformation of this venue into a global entertainment destination.”
Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona both return to the ICC with the goal of adding another title to their already world-class resumes. Real Madrid C.F. will be making a record fifth appearance in the ICC, having played in every year of the tournament’s history. Real Madrid C.F. returns to Miami for a second time as part of the ICC after defeating Chelsea F.C. to win the inaugural tournament in 2013 in front of a crowd of 67,273 attendees, one of the largest for a soccer match in the venue’s history. They also were crowned champions of the first-ever ICC China and ICC Australia which took place in 2015.
FC Barcelona makes its third appearance in the ICC after appearing in both the 2015 and 2016 tournaments. Their 2016 tournament included two wins and a finale highlighted by the second largest crowd in Wembley Stadium history (89,845) to watch them take on Liverpool F.C.
El Clásico Miami will be held at the newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., the first soccer event to take place since the stadium’s latest renovations. Hard Rock Stadium returns as a venue for the ICC after hosting the championship match in each of the first two years of the tournament. The renovations to Hard Rock Stadium have made it possible to host the highest caliber of soccer competition while serving as the home of the Miami Dolphins. The venue also serves as home to the University of Miami football team, Orange Bowl, Super Bowl LIV, the College Football Playoff Semifinals and a host of world class events. Hard Rock Stadium will host an additional match on Wednesday, July 26 as part of the 2017 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken. Further details will be announced on March 21.
As part of this momentous event, the ICC and El Clásico Miami management team will develop a program of exciting events leading up to the match including concerts, brand activations, team pep rallies, art activations, and more which will be hosted in and around Hard Rock Stadium as part of an immersive experience site that will be available to fans from Tuesday to Sunday. Additionally, El Clásico Miami week will provide an opportunity for fans to experience the culture of Miami by creating events around Miami Beach, Wynwood and Bayfront Park. The week will be filled with concerts, beach parties and art activations that create a spectacle of events around the match.
Heineken is the presenting sponsor for the 2017 International Champions Cup. For the second consecutive year, all matches for the International Champions Cup will be carried on ESPN networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and streaming network ESPN3, accessible through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.
“As one of the premier supporters of soccer both globally, and in the U.S., our partnership with the International Champions Cup continues our goal to bring U.S. fans closer to the beautiful game,” said Ralph Rijks, senior vice president at HEINEKEN USA. “Soccer’s growth is unparalleled in the States, and its rise to prominence is worth raising a glass to. We’re excited to further our reach both on and off the pitch, while putting Heineken front and center of this historic match-up in Miami."
Since launching in 2013, the ICC has hosted matchups at some of the most renowned venues across the world including Michigan Stadium, the Rose Bowl, Yankee Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Wembley Stadium. The ICC has featured teams from the world’s most renowned soccer leagues including the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and German Bundesliga.
In 2015, the ICC expanded to include tournaments in both Australia and China. It has featured matches in Melbourne, Beijing, and Shanghai over the past two years. Overall, the ICC has hosted matches in more than 30 cities, 11 countries and four continents.
The International Champions Cup presented by Heineken is proud to host El Clásico Miami and other matches of this caliber for a fifth consecutive year, offering a level of skill and competition previously unseen in the United States. Relevent Sports will reveal the entire lineup of world-class teams, venues and matchups for the 2017 tournament at a national launch event in New York City on Tuesday, March 21.
Founded in 1899, FC Barcelona is one of the most iconic soccer clubs in the world. With some of the greatest players in soccer history, FC Barcelona has won 24 league titles, 28 Copa Del Rey titles and five UEFA Champions League titles. In 2009, FC Barcelona performed the extraordinary feat of winning all six major trophies they were competing for, winning La Liga, Copa Del Rey, UEFA Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Between 2008 and 2012, FC Barcelona won two Champions League trophies, three league titles and a World Club Cup title. The Spanish club added to their already illustrious trophy cabinet by winning the ever-elusive treble during the 2014-2015 season; winning La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the crown jewel of European football - The Champions League. The current FC Barcelona squad includes global soccer superstars Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Andrés Iniesta, Ivan Rakitić and Neymar. For more information on FC Barcelona, please visit www.fcbarcelona.com.
Founded in 1902, Real Madrid C.F. hold the record for most European Cup/UEFA Champions League championships in any club’s history - a staggering total of 11 titles, its most recent arriving in the 2015-2016 season. In addition, the Royal Whites have won a record 32 La Liga titles, while winning the domestic cup 19 times. Los Blancos currently field a roster featuring some of the best players in the world including Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France) as well as home-grown Spanish talent like Isco and captain Sergio Ramos. Led by former Real Madrid C.F. midfielder, French footballing legend and current manager Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid C.F. returns to the International Champions Cup for the fifth consecutive year, having won each of the inaugural tournaments to take place in the United States and China. For more information on Real Madrid C.F., please visit www.realmadrid.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 Presented by Heineken
The International Champions Cup is the world’s premier 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 works with leading sponsors such as Heineken, Nike, Visit Orlando, and Ally, among others, to bring the best in soccer to iconic sports venues across North America, Europe and China.
The International Champions Cup has hosted some of the most iconic matchups in the world, including the two most attended soccer matches in U.S. history. First came when 109,318 fans saw Real Madrid and Manchester United play in Michigan Stadium at the University of Michigan. Real Madrid returned to the “Big House” to take on Chelsea in front of 105,826 fans, second all-time, as part of the 2016 tournament. The International Champions Cup has also hosted the most attended soccer matches in Minnesota (64,101 at U.S. Bank Stadium) and Ohio (86,641 at Ohio Stadium) state history. In its four-year history, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all won installments of the tournament.
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.
About HEINEKEN USA HEINEKEN USA Inc., the nation's leading upscale beer importer, is a subsidiary of HEINEKEN International NV, the world's most international brewer. European brands imported into the U.S. include Heineken®, the world's most international beer brand, Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders, Amstel Light, and Newcastle Brown Ale. HEINEKEN USA also imports the Dos Equis Franchise, Tecate Franchise, Sol, Indio, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from Mexico.
About Hard Rock Stadium
Hard Rock Stadium is a global entertainment destination that serves as home to the Miami Dolphins, University of Miami football team, Orange Bowl, Super Bowl LIV and the 100th anniversary of the NFL, College Football Playoff Semifinals, major concerts, international soccer and a host of world-class events. The facility is in the midst of Phase III of a $500 million, multi-year renovation privately by Owner Stephen Ross.