Soccer News & Notes Aug. 25, 2010

EPL unveiling new fan initiative while FIFA bid inspectors are in U.K.
The EPL today will announce "far-reaching plans to maximise fans’ enjoyment of match going." Efforts will include new training for stadium stewards (an usher/security position) as well as the award of the VisitEngland stamp of approval "to those grounds who reach set standards in eight areas." Also, to coincide with a visit by FIFA’s ’18 World Cup bid inspectors, the EPL will "release figures showing the increasingly ethnically diverse and family-oriented nature of crowds" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 8/25).
Source: www.sportsbusinessdaily.com

Chelsea to play in Thailand next summer
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

English Premier League champions Chelsea has announced it is looking to expand its interests in the Far East by playing a pre-season game in Bangkok, Thailand, next summer.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will play a Thailand All Stars team in the 60,000-capacity Rajamangala Stadium ahead of next season, although the date is yet to be confirmed.

The tour is the latest in Chelsea’s plans to break into the Far East market, with the club reporting they have 350,000 people from the area visiting their website, chelseafc.com, every month.

Chelsea currently has partnerships with the Asian Football Federation’s grassroots project, and the Super Soccer Star talent search, which sees the winners visit Chelsea’s Academy at Cobham.

“By announcing this part of our summer tour schedule so far in advance, we have a year to engage with our increasing fan base in Thailand as we build towards the game,” said Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay.

Source: SoccerEx Business

FIFA’s inspection team continues England tour
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FIFA’s inspection team has continued their tour of England as they decide whether the country should host the 2018 World Cup.

The six-strong delegation visited St. James’ Park and the Stadium of Light in the north-east, but the highlight was a video showing how London’s famous landmarks would be used.

Draw balls would be kept overnight in the Tower of London before the draw itself in December 2017. The exterior of the 02 Arena would also be transformed into a giant football on the day of the draw.

England are strong contenders to host the tournament, with Russia the early favourites and a joint bid from Spain and Portugal also expected to be a strong contender.

The delegation’s four-day tour of England ends on Thursday.

Source: SoccerEx Business

Brazil President: We need to pick up pace
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brazil’s president has admitted the country needs to pick up the pace if it is going to be ready to host the 2014 World Cup.

According to the Associated Press, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva warned that government officials and businessmen need to co-operate with each other if the necessary infrastructure and stadium improvements are to be completed on time, saying “we are going to have problems” if they do not.

There are also question marks over whether Sao Paulo will host any games in the tournament, but the President confirmed a decision will not be made before the country holds elections in October.

Source: SoccerEx Business

English Premier League out of home viewing attracts key audience
Submitted by Matt Cutler on Tue, 24/08/2010

Over a third of British adults aged 18 to 34 are planning to watch this season’s English Premier League on TV outside of their own home, according to research from YouGov/SMG Insight.

Just under a quarter (23 per cent) of viewers aged 18 to 34 plan to watch the football matches at a pub or club, whilst 11 per cent of respondents are most likely to go round to a friend’s house to watch a game. Only 51 per cent of 18-24 year olds intend to watch Premier League matches at home.

In contrast, a significant proportion of British adults aged 45 and over will watch the majority of games at home. Only seven per cent of over 45s will go to the pub to watch Premier League matches, whilst 84 per cent will watch the games in the comfort of their own home.

Frank Saez, founder and Managing Director of SMG Insight, said: “The age group of 18 to 34 year olds is an extremely important group of viewers to advertisers and sponsors. They are the first to have the latest gadgets and less likely to have developed brand loyalties.

"Yet out-of-home viewing in many cases is still considered to be value-added beyond traditional TV ratings. Our international consumer panel provides us with the ability to monitor out-of-home sports viewing with precision on a regular basis. This study is the first of several viewing studies planned for this season.”

The research is the first of a series of studies aimed at understanding the out-of-home viewing audience amongst sports fans.

Source: www.sportbusiness.com

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