FC Barcelona In-House Documentary Series Will Take You Inside Barça

Por primera vez, las cámaras de televisión han tenido acceso al día a día de jugadores como Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué, Marc-André ter Stegen o Luis Suárez.

Miami, Fla. (October 30, 2019) —

Fútbol Club Barcelona will be releasing its own in-house documentary that will take viewers behind the scenes.

This follows other clubs who have produced documentaries, such as Netflix’ work with Juventus and Amazon’s work with Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Leeds United.

The Blaugrana version will be an eight-episode documentary each consisting of 45 minutes that focus around eight key games from the 2018-19 season. The exclusive content features dressing room footage, the players’ reactions to last season’s shocking defeat to Liverpool, interviews, and a glimpse into the players’ home lives. Actor John Malkovich provides the narration.

The documentary will be available via Barça sponsor Rakuten and their distribution partners in Europe from November onwards. It will be available in North America although the distribution partner has not been announced.

It is definitely a not-to-be-missed series.

Here is the trailer for the project:


Russo Law and Soccer Briefs offers a quick glance at what’s new on the commercial side of football.

Liverpool Set To Sign New Kit Supplier Deal

MIAMI, Fla. (October 29, 2019) —

European Champions Liverpool Football Club are set to sign a new kit supplier agreement with Nike that is reported to be worth £75 million (€84.8 $93.2).

This would match Manchester United’s 10-year deal with adidas and place the Reds among the top 5 clubs in the category of kit supplier deals. FC Barcelona currently has the largest kit supplier agreement at €113.5m with Nike. 

This after the London Commercial Court dismissed New Balance’s complaint for breach of contract in a dispute that centred over “matching rights” contained in the kit supplier agreement between New Balance and Liverpool which expires at the end of this season.

#soccerbusiness #commercial #russo #russosoccer #miami @lfcmiami  @the.liverpool.corner @anfield.times #nikesoccer #supplier


Russo Law and Soccer Briefs offers a quick glance at what’s new on the commercial side of football.

Court Sides With Liverpool In Lawsuit Over Kit Supply Contract

Nike will be new kit supplier beginning with the 2020/21 season.

Liverpool join Chelsea and Tottenham as top tier EPL clubs with Nike kits

MIAMI, Fla. (October 28, 2019) —

Liverpool FC have won a legal battle with Boston (MA)-based New Balance in the London Commercial Court and are now free to sign a new deal with Nike.

Pending an appeal by New Balance, it brings to an end the ongoing dispute surrounding which apparel provider would outfit the Premier League side’s kit from the 2020/21 season, which has been unclear since the start of the year.

Liverpool home shirt | Photo: Liverpool FC

Liverpool had made clear their intentions to switch to Nike once their partnership with New Balance, which dates back to the 2015/16 season, expired and had held extensive talks with the brand. The club rejected New Balance’s offer of a matching clause proposed for the existing contract over the summer.

New Balance took the European Champions to court over their alleged refusal to honour a £45m-a-year deal (€50.9, $55.9 million), which expires in May 2020. They alleged that under the terms, the footwear firm is entitled to renew its sponsorship if it matches any competitor’s offer, and that Liverpool had breached the contract by not renewing the contract.

New Balance World Headquarters in Boston, MA

Opening the firm’s case last week, Daniel Oudkerk QC said the key issue was whether New Balance had matched “the material, measurable and matchable terms of a third-party offer.”

Liverpool countered that New Balance had not matched Nike’s offer, which includes a commitment to sell licensed products in at least “6,000 stores worldwide, 500 of which shall be Nike-owned”. Guy Morpuss QC, the lawyer representing the Premier League club, set out to show New Balance’s claim it could distribute the club’s kit to 40,000 stores was “a myth”, and that the company had “grossly overstated” the number of stores to which it could distribute. Moreover, Liverpool argued that Nike could deliver far greater total revenue than New Balance could, reflected by Nike reportedly agreeing to pay the Reds a 20 percent royalty on net sales of Liverpool products.

Nike reportedly agreed to pay the club UK£30 million (US$36 million) per year, compared to the UK£45 million (US$58 million) New Balance currently pays. However, it would also promote the team through other high-profile athletes and influencers, including tennis legend Serena Williams, basketball star LeBron James and the musician Drake. Nike would also distribute the new kit through an estimated 6,000 global stores, compared to New Balance’s 3,000.

Chris Davis, New Balance vice-president of global marketing and sports marketing, and Kenny McCallum, New Balance general manager of global football, were both cross-examined extensively during Friday’s proceedings.

Davis’ testimony Testifying in court basically admitted that the company had made “errors” on the number of retail outlets initially planned.

Liverpool’s legal team argued that this was evidence New Balance was unable to match the terms offered by Nike. New Balance would have to double their number of stores, especially in the Far East, where their actual outlets were much lower than planned. Other evidence presented by the club’s barristers was the fact that a large number of New Balance stores sold only the company’s footwear and not replica kits.

Giving his ruling in London, Mr. Justice Teare of the High Court ruled in Liverpool’s favour, finding that “the New Balance offer on marketing was less favourable to Liverpool FC than the Nike offer.” A full written statement from the judge will follow but he told the court: “For the reasons given in the judgment handed down, the claim from New Balance is dismissed.”

In his ruling, Mr Justice Teare said: “Liverpool FC is not obliged to enter into a new agreement with New Balance.”

The court also heard that Liverpool spent more than £555,000 on the case, with 20% to be paid by New Balance.

Liverpool will now move ahead to finalise a five-year deal they have agreed to in principle with Nike, who have apparently already spent nearly UK£6 million (US$7.7 million) on kit design. Liverpool and Nike have worked together for the past two months. [The Reds claim Nike’s offer to them, which they apparently had accepted in principle in August, amounted to a legally binding obligation to contract with Nike.] The two sides have already agreed on designs for the replica kits and training kits for the 2020-21 campaign, while Nike have reserved factory space to manufacture 2.9 million units over the course of next season and have already invested more than $5.8 million in fabric.

While the possibility of an appeal of the court’s dismissal is possible, the relationship between New Balance and Liverpool is irretrievably damaged, and even if New Balance won on appeal, forcing Liverpool to work with them for another five years is not going to happen. The only question would be damages owed by Liverpool for breach of contract. A New Balance spokeswoman said the firm was disappointed, adding: “We believe strongly that we matched the competing offer and would have delivered many more years of record-breaking kit sales.”

Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah celebrate in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Anfield on Sat. Oct 26, 2019.

LAFC is first in MLS with sleeve sponsorship deal

Newest Member of the Golden Boot Club

MIAMI, Fla. (October 15, 2019) —

Los Angeles Football Club has added a new corporate sponsor to its lineup. The club revealed that retail giant Target will join the exclusive Golden Boot Club beginning in January 2020, serving as the Official Retailer of LAFC. The multi-year partnership includes the Target logo prominently displayed on the left sleeve of LAFC’s primary and secondary shirts.

“This is another historic day for our Club as we welcome Target to the Black & Gold family,” said LAFC President and Owner Tom Penn. “Target is an innovative leader that shares our passion for culture, community and inclusivity. We’re proud to showcase Target on our jerseys and throughout the LAFC community.” 

“With a strong presence in the Los Angeles community, we’re thrilled to team up with the Los Angeles Football Club,” said William White, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Target. “We support soccer because we know how much our guests love this sport, and we’re excited to bring the bullseye to the jerseys of the Black & Gold.”

LAFC’s elite level of partnership is the Golden Boot Club, which provides exclusive access, visibility and experiences for its members. As the newest member of LAFC’s Golden Boot Club, Target joins Banc of California, Delta Air Lines/Aeromexico, Heineken, Kaiser Permanente, Toyota and YouTube TV.

The Target sleeve patch will also be present on shirts sold in retail.

Major League Soccer (MLS) announced approval of sponsored sleeve patch sales on team uniforms in October 2018. The new initiative is a multi-year pilot program, and available only to those clubs that have already secured a primary jersey sponsor.

The terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but my research suggests said that MLS sleeve deals could be worth anywhere between US$500,000 and US$1 million per year. Given the success that LAFC has had, and their location in the nation’s No. 2 media market, it seems likely that the Target sleeve sponsorship will earn above the estimated range.

The size of the sponsored sleeve patch will be roughly the same size as the existing MLS logo on the right jersey sleeve, roughly 2.5 by 2.5 inches.

The deal comes at the close of LAFC’s second season, which saw them winners of the MLS Supporters Shield, and an upcoming game for the MLS’s Western Conference championship.

LAFC’s Carlos Vela chases down a ball during a match on April 13.
LAFC’s Carlos Vela chases down a ball during a match on April 13. Photographer: Harry How/Getty Images

Target is already heavily invested in MLS. The Minneapolis-based company is the main shirt partner for Minnestoa United FC. It is also a league partner.

In addition to the sleeve patch, Target will place its logo on digital signs around the team’s stadium. The company also has the right to brand a field-level suite where the club entertains VIP guests and celebrities.

Being the first to announce a sleeve partner was a goal for the team, according to Penn, who compared it to the team’s 2018 YouTubeTV deal, when it became the first major U.S. franchise to award its local TV rights to a streaming provider.

“We love being first,” said Penn, who is also an LAFC owner.

Data Analytics

LAFC studied data gathered by the club in order to help sell potential partners on the new ad space, including metrics such as the exposure its jersey had received in 2019 from live broadcasts, highlight videos, social-media posts and news coverage. For example, over the first six months of this season, the MLS patch on the other sleeve received 550 million impressions.

“Every time Carlos Vela does something dramatic and the goal footage goes global, it will have a Target mark right on the sleeve,” LAFC President Tom Penn said. “It’s easy to quantify the number of impressions and the extent of the exposure that the partner gets.”

Selling sleeve patches aligns MLS with prominent soccer leagues across the world, such as La Liga Santander and the English Premier League, where teams have both a main shirt sponsor and a second logo on the sleeve.

Image result for lafc
Aug 25, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; LAFC players pose for team photo prior to kickoff. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LAFC Background

Los Angeles Football Club became the second MLS club in Los Angeles, joining the Los Angeles Galaxy, after owners paid $110 million in 2014 to establish the team. It started play in 2018 and immediately became one of MLS’s most valuable franchises, according to Forbes.

LAFC is controlled by a trio of owners — Apollo Global Management senior partner Larry Berg, Ares Management co-founder Bennett Rosenthal and Riot Games Inc. co-founder Brandon Beck. Other investors include Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, who is also co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., actor Will Ferrell, soccer star Mia Hamm, and former Los Angeles Lakers player Earving “Magic” Johnson.

Chicago Fire Announce Return To Downtown Chicago; Sign La Liga Player

The Chicago Fire will return to Soldier Field.

MIAMI, Fla. (October 25, 2019) —

The club announced its return to the iconic downtown stadium, where their home opener will be versus Atlanta United on March 21, 2020. As earlier reported on Russo Soccer, the plans have been known for months, but the Fire waited to announce the official news on the anniversary of the club’s establishment in 1997.

In an open letter to The Chicago Suntimes Fire owner Joe Mansueto wrote: “On this anniversary of both the Great Chicago Fire and the founding of our team, it is my pledge to deliver a world class club worthy of our city and one that represents all of Chicago – our neighborhoods, our people, our communities.” He added what has by now become a familiar theme about soccer uniting people, saying, “The game we love has a unique ability to unite us all – and when Chicago is united, we can accomplish anything. It is my honor to invite a new generation to stand with us, as we make our stand for you.”

The Fire previously played at Soldier Field from 1998-2001 and 2003-2005 before relocating to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, where they have played for the last 14 seasons.

The club did not qualify for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs and have already seen veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger announce his retirement this offseason.

Moving back to Chicago is a logical and needed step to reconnect with the city. Bridgeview was hard to get to from the urban core of Chicago and few people made the effort.

There was some talk about rebranding the team away from the megapopular NBC TV show and away from the worst disaster in the city’s history. This author thinks that would be a good move, and the rebrand would not even have to be that dramatic to present a stronger, more positive image.

Chicago Sign Spanish Midfielder Álvaro Medran

In other Chicago Fire (the MLS club) news, in early October the Fire completed the signing of the 25-year-old Spanish midfielder. Medran had played the previous five seasons in LaLiga, making 91 appearances and scoring 11 times. He was developed in the Real Madrid youth academy and signed with Los Blancos for the 2014-15 season, making six appearances that season. He was part of the Real Madrid side that won the 2014 Club World Cup.

Medran eventually played for Getafe, Valencia, Deportivo Alavés and spent last season with Rayo Vallecano. Medran was also capped three times for Spain’s U-19 team, and once for their U-21 team.

A free agent, Medran was signed using Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”) and his contract runs through 2021, followed by two club options. As is the case in MLS. the financial terms of his contract were not disclosed.

Coach Veljko Paunovic and the Fire have completed the signing of Alvaro Medran.
 Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Toronto FC Wins in Queens, Moves On To Eastern Conference Finals

NEW YORK — At the home of the New York Mets in Queens, visiting Toronto FC prevailed over NYCFC on Wednesday night.

The Reds played an outstanding away game at Citi Field against the top MLS team in the Eastern Conference this season, coming away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory courtesy of a 90th-minute penalty kick goal by MLS newcomer of the year runnerup Alejandro Pozuelo.

The smart money in this one was on New York City. Not only were they rested and playing at home, Toronto had to go into extra-time to beat D.C. United in their previous playoff game at BMO Field this past Saturday. The Reds are now unbeaten in their last 12 MLS games.

“We’ve played on as many big days in the last few years as any team in this league and we have guys who understand what these nights are all about and it showed,” TFC captain Michael Bradley said.

Pozuelo’s PK game-winning goal came about when Toronto’s Richie Laryea was taken down by NYCFC’s Ronald Matarrita in the penalty area. Pozuelo beat New York goalkeeper Sean Johnson on the ensuing penalty kick with a “Panenka,” (a chip shot) down the middle to give his team the win and a spot in the MLS Eastern Conference final next week.

The previous time TFC and NYCFC met, on Sept. 11 at Yankee Stadium, Pozuelo scored on a PK and Johnson made a save on him on another.

Richie Laryea has been a sensational acquisition for Toronto this year. A Toronto native who played his club soccer with the esteemed Sigma FC program in Mississauga, Laryea also came off the bench against D.C. United last Saturday and scored, posting two huge games in post-season action as a substitute.

Laryea was originally selected by Orlando City in the first round (7th overall) in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, out of the University of Akron. He had his option declined by Orlando City at the end of last season and it looked very much like his playing career was over. After being invited to TFC’s preseason training camp, the team eventually signed him a few weeks into the start of the 2019 season. Head coach Greg Vanney converted him from midfield into a marauding right-back, where the 24-year-old has been a revelation at the position. Last month, Laryea earned his first cap for the Canadian National Team. This month, he went the full 90 minutes in Canada’s historic 2-0 win against the U.S.

“When guys are tired, he’s a disaster to have to deal with and he did what he’s done so many times this year, which is eliminate guys and drive to the end line and get himself in position to cross,” TFC coach Greg Vanney said about Laryea.

The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal and Joshua Kloke just wrote about Laryea and his story. When they cut him, Orlando City’s technical staff told him that they didn’t see him as an MLS-caliber player.

Toronto ’keeper Quentin Westberg made a huge save in extra-time to preserve the win for TFC.

“Throughout the game, these past two (playoff) games, a lot of different guys in different moments have had key roles and that’s the depth of our group,” said Westberg, who joined the Reds early this season. “I know that coming into (Toronto) we heard a lot about 2016 and 2017, and now the new guys want to bring something to the equation. Last year was a little hard on everyone (missing the playoffs) and we needed to re-set and now we’re a different style, a different team.”

Pozuelo also scored in the 47th minute, a result of some very poor play in the defensive end by New York. TFC defender Auro put a ball in towards the NYCFC goal and Citizens’ defender Maxime Chanot tried to head it back to his goalkeeper. Instead, he headed it to Pozuelo in the box and the Spaniard easily put it home.

Pozuelo has essentially played back-to-back pro seasons (Belgian League and then MLS), but he has fought through fatigue to be the leader of the his club in the post-season. Pozuelo created four scoring chances and had four shots on goal, leading Toronto in both categories.

“His ability in the attacking part of the field to make plays is amazing,” Bradley said. “And obviously (Wednesday night) when things are going a million miles an hour (on a small pitch) we need him to be able to slow it down and have the composure to make plays that make a difference.”

After Pozuelo’s first goal, NYCFC turned the flow of the match in their favour and tied it in the 69th minute after a perfect cross from Maximiliano Moralez to Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who was left unattended to the left of Westberg. Tajouri-Shradi had no trouble finding the open net.

“We did that last week, we gave up a goal in the final seconds of the game and those can really kick you in the gut,” Vanney said. “But the guys re-grouped and again we found a way to settle the game down.”

Toronto defender Laurent Ciman summed it up this way:

For the second straight playoff match, Toronto was without forward Jozy Altidore (quad strain) and centre back Omar Gonzalez (strained hamstring) — both huge key starters. Gonzalez was on the bench to start the game. Altidore did not dress.

“Jozy’s getting there. He’s been able to get his high-speed running, all that stuff, up to where we’re comfortable. But he still hasn’t really been able to shoot and unleash shots. Giving us six, seven more days (before the Eastern Conference final) is huge. We’re very optimistic we’ll get him there,” Vanney said. “Omar was available if we needed him (Wednesday) to close out the game. He was ready, if push came to shove.”

NYCFC finished first overall in the Eastern Conference this season and received a first-round bye in the playoffs. Wednesday’s match represented New York’s first competitive match in 18 days while TFC played 120 minutes on Saturday, defeating D.C. United 5-1 in extra time. TFC certainly didn’t look fatigued on Wednesday, dominating the first half.

TFC’s Chris Mavinga, playing without his usual centre back partner Gonzalez, had a very strong game despite NYCFC scoring in the second half.

Toronto FC awaits the winner of the other Eastern Conference semifinal between Philadelphia and Atlanta, being played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Thursday night. Can Toronto FC advance to the MLS Cup Final? As Quintin Westberg said, “we have a lot of heart and we’re out here on a mission.”

Miami Voters Said ‘YES’– Tell the City Commissioners To Respect Your Vote!

Thursday Oct. 24th, at 6:00 p.m. the City of Miami Commission will meet at City Hall and Miami Freedom Park is once again on the Agenda.

Some Commissioners are determined to destroy the grand vision of Miami Freedom Park, a project which will transform a place that is public on paper but which in reality cannot be enjoyed by most residents of Miami. A project which will provide so much for our community: jobs, a large park, a tech hub, public soccer fields, a home for Inter Miami CF and a place for all to gather.

Some commissioners are trying undermine our 62% majority vote that we City of Miami voters returned last November. They represent the people and should not place their own agenda over the will of our residents.

Voice your support for our Miami Freedom Park! Inter Miami CF needs your support at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.

Miami City Hall
3500 Pan American Dr,
Miami, FL 33133

DIRECTIONS

CONTACT THE COMMISSIONERS

Inter Miami CF have made it very easy to voice your support for Miami Freedom Park to the Commissioners.

Click the button below to automatically e-mail them and add your voice to the cause! Make sure to share with all your friends & family!


Photos: Inter Miami CF and Miami Freedom Park, LLC