SBJ/April 3 - 9, 2006/World Congress Of Sports

Chelsea FC teaming up with AEG

Keynote Address: Peter Kenyon, Chelsea Football Club

Chelsea Football Club Chief Executive Peter Kenyon revealed a partnership agreement between Chelsea, England’s Premier League champions, and AEG, which operates four Major League Soccer teams, during his keynote address Wednesday.

Kenyon said Chelsea is committed to growing
soccer and its brand in the United States.
The relationship will begin next summer with a tournament involving Chelsea and a host MLS club every other year.

It also will include a club-to-club relationship between Chelsea and the MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy, as well as an agreement to market the Chelsea brand in the United States and to promote grassroots activity.

“This … not only demonstrates our commitment to the development of U.S. soccer, but will also help Chelsea work toward its aim of becoming the most popular European club in the U.S., one of our key target markets,” Kenyon said.

Kenyon said the greatest endorsement for soccer came just two days earlier from NBA Commissioner David Stern, who called soccer the NBA’s No. 1 global competitor, and admitted that his league’s aim was to be No. 2 to soccer in their key overseas markets.

Kenyon said the U.S. national team was beginning to make an impact on the international level, and cautioned those who expressed concern about soccer’s appeal in the United States.

“MLS has done a great job in 10 years,” he said. “It takes time. To put it in context, remember that this is Chelsea’s 100th year.”

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