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Volume 21 No. 2
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Liverpool in the black for North American jaunt

Liverpool FC executives said the club sold more than 111,000 tickets and turned a profit for its first North American tour since Fenway Sports Group bought the English Premier League club in October 2010.

The club’s three-game preseason series concluded Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore with a match against Tottenham Hotspur. More than 40,000 tickets had been sold as of midweek last week. The Baltimore match follows a July 25 sellout at Fenway Park in Boston against AS Roma that drew more than 38,000, and a July 21 match at Rogers Centre against MLS club Toronto FC that drew 33,087.

Liverpool FC announced a four-year deal to make Chevrolet its official automotive partner. From left: Manager Brendan Rogers, Chairman Tom Werner, Chevy’s Chris Perry and players Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson.
Liverpool and sister entity Fenway Sports Management sold sponsorships for the tour to Chevrolet, Dunkin’ Donuts, Lumber Liquidators, Warrior and Foxwoods, among others. Before the Fenway Park match, the club announced a much larger four-year deal with Chevrolet in which the U.S. automaker becomes Liverpool’s official automotive partner.

“This has been a big undertaking, but it’s obviously something we wanted to do from the time we acquired the club, and we feel like a number of objectives have been achieved during the tour,” said Billy Hogan, former FSM managing director and newly installed as Liverpool’s chief commercial officer.

“We’ve spent the majority of our time in Boston, and between the training and daily community events we’ve done here, we feel like we’ve really established a more solid presence in Boston, which was one of our goals. And more broadly, a lot has been done to expand the Liverpool brand on this continent,” Hogan said.

Liverpool took on MLS club Toronto FC, then played in Boston and Baltimore.
Hogan said he now intends to alternate between North America and Asia for Liverpool’s summer tours. The club played in China, Malaysia and South Korea last year.

Chevrolet, meanwhile, through the Liverpool deal sharply expands an interest in soccer that also includes a pact signed last month with EPL rival Manchester United.

“We’re obviously selling cars globally, but until recently, we really hadn’t been managing the brand globally in a full sense,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet vice president of global marketing. “Football is an obvious and important tool in globalizing the brand.”

Liverpool’s North American tour is but one of a historically large spate of European soccer powers traveling American and Canadian cities this summer. Between mid-July and mid-August, 35 matches involving international teams are slated for the U.S. and Canada, with Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field among the iconic facilities participating.