SBJ/20100607/This Week's News

Leverage to sell deals for post-Cup soccer tournament

The World Series of Football has tabbed The Leverage Agency to sell sponsorships around an international soccer tournament that will be held at Red Bull Arena two weeks after the World Cup.

Leverage hired Larry Novenstern to consult
on its New York Football Challenge efforts.

Scheduled for July 22-25, the 2010 New York Football Challenge will be a four-team tournament with English clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, plus Sporting Clube de Portugal and the New York Red Bulls.

World Series of Football CEO Bill Miles sold the tournament’s TV rights to Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español in a barter deal where no money changed hands.

Leverage will sell ad time around the event and split the revenue with the networks. Tournament organizers are telling potential advertisers that they expect to draw 378,000 viewers for the event across the two channels. Fox Soccer Channel’s highest-rated English Premier League game this season drew 442,000 viewers for a Feb. 7 game between Arsenal and Chelsea. Fox Sports en Español is not Nielsen rated.

Tottenham Hotspur will be among
the four teams playing at Red
Bull Arena.

Now, Leverage is focused on selling sponsorships around the event, and has brought on Larry Novenstern as a consultant to help. Novenstern left the ad buying agency Optimedia in March after a four-year run with the company and is now working as a consultant.

Sponsorship sales face competition from other well-known international teams that will be touring the U.S. and Canada. For example, Manchester United kicks off a four-city U.S. tour July 16. Inter Milan will play Manchester City in Baltimore July 31. And Scottish rivals Rangers and Celtic have been trying to schedule a friendly in Boston at the end of July.

Leverage’s main selling proposition is that the event will capitalize on increased interest in soccer directly coming out of the World Cup, which ends July 11.

Leverage is looking to sell title rights for the event and smaller sponsorships, including stadium exposure from LED digital billboards to in-stadium commercials.

The event also has available sponsorships around the trophy ceremony and game program.

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