Inter Miami linked with major sponsorship

MIAMI, Fla. (January 20, 2020) —

BREAKING: Inter Miami is currently the only club in MLS without a shirt sponsor for the 2020 campaign but the lack of a sponsor is likely to end very soon. Sources expect a major agreement to be announced in the next few days.

Read more about this over on Inter Miami Hoy.


Jeff Hunt Is The Ottawa Man Behind Atletico Madrid’s CPL Venture

MIAMI, Fla. (January 18, 2020) —

Unless you live in Ottawa, Ontario, you probably have no idea Jeff Hunt is. Just who is this “mystery man” involved with a bid to bring back professional soccer to Ottawa?

The mystery man is actually a local Ottawa businessman who, in 1998, at the age of 32, rescued junior hockey in Ottawa when he bought the 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League and saved the franchise. He also was behind the successful bid to bring back a Canadian Football League team to Ottawa — the Redblacks played their first game in 2014 — and over the past few months he was doing plenty of legwork to figure out if another soccer team could be viable.

He got results. As early as next week, it could be announced that an Ottawa franchise will be added to the Canadian Premier League in 2020, which begins in April.

“I can confirm that the CPL reached out to me some time ago to provide advice and guidance in bringing a CPL team to Ottawa,” Hunt said late Friday afternoon. “I can tell you we’re very close in putting together a launch of professional soccer through the CPL in Ottawa in 2020. That’s certainly the goal. My involvement — that’s to be determined — but for the right situation, I would hope to play a role not just as a partner, but as a frontman on the ground in Ottawa.”

Hunt is known as someone who has done much in the community.

Prior to Spanish media disclosing that the team involved is Atlético Madrid, all; Hunt said to local Ottawa news outlets is: “We are focusing on doing this with a major European group; when and if the day comes, it’s their announcement to make, not mine,” said Hunt. “It’s not my place to make any announcement.”

It wasn’t long ago — a bit more than two months — that Ottawa Fury FC suspended operations.

A Win For the Canadian Premier League

The addition of Ottawa is a win for the Canadian Premier League. Ottawa is the nation’s capital and has a good venue for the games. It also has had a successful soccer team and has an established fan base that was left without a team when the Fury suspended operations and sold its USL franchise rights to the Miami FC, whose general manager, Paul Dalglish, ironically, coached the Ottawa club from 2016-17.

While it seems like fielding a team for the 2020 season might be rushing things, it would help the league in its scheduling, going from a seven-team league to eight. The CPL’s teams are Pacific FC (Victoria), Cavalry FC (Calgary), FC Edmonton, Valour FC (Winnipeg), Forge FC (Hamilton) York 9 FC (Toronto) and HFX Wanderers (Halifax).

Ottawa is a major Canadian market, with a city population of 934,243 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

The CPL wanted Ottawa as one of the original teams, but the Fury were not interested last year. Fury FC ran out of patience with soccer’s governing bodies. Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (“OSEG”), which had owned Fury FC since its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League in 2014, pulled the plug on the team when it couldn’t get sanctioning to participate in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship this year. Unlike a year ago, when they were ready to take the battle to a Court of Arbitration for Sport, Fury FC walked away with the OSEG collective wanting out.

It should be noted that Hunt, an OSEG partner, distanced himself from the operations of Fury FC after a couple of seasons.

But this is different. While TD Place would provide the venue for the professional soccer team, OSEG, as a group, wouldn’t be involved in ownership. And in many ways a partnership with the CPL at this time makes sense.

The CPL season runs from late April to October. Each team plays 28 games, including 14 at home.

The expectation is that OSEG will be supportive of Hunt’s involvement and with professional soccer in a stadium that would otherwise be vacant on those game nights. The departure of Fury FC without a replacement team would have hurt the restaurants and bars that surround TD Place on game nights. So this will be a breath of fresh air.

The hope is that soccer fans young and old in Ottawa would gravitate toward a franchise in an all-Canadian league where there’s a heavy emphasis on giving exposure to Canadian talent. League rules say that 50 per cent, plus one, of every team’s roster must be made up of Canadian players (with a limit of seven foreign nationals). Teams must also start a minimum of six Canadians. At least three Canadians on each team must be under 21 and those players must combine to play a minimum of 1,000 minutes per season.

Atlético Ottawa

Atlético de Madrid reportedly investing in new Ottawa CanPL franchise.

A further sign that La Liga and its teams are making gains in North America.

MIAMI, Fla. (January 18, 2020) —

One of Spain’s biggest football clubs, Club Atlético de Madrid, is close to completing negotiations to create a brand new franchise in Ottawa that will compete in the Canadian Premier League, becoming the eighth club in a league that stretches from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.

Canadian Premier League

Spanish sports business media outlet Palco23 indicated that three separate sources indicate that the team will be announced in the coming weeks and will start play as soon as this April when the Canadian league begins its second season. The project is a continuation of Atlético’s foray into North America. Club officials did not return requests for comment made by Palco23.

El Atlético de Madrid ultima la compra de una franquicia en la Canadian Premier League

Complete details are not yet available, and there has not been an official announcement yet, but Ottawa French daily publication Le Droit has added a few details. It appears that the former owners of the Ottawa Fury are not involved, but an investor in OSEG, Jeff Hunt, is acting as a facilitator in the negotiations. [ RELATED: Who is Jeff Hunt?| The Fury were founded in 2011, playing in second tier of North American soccer as part of the now defunct North American Soccer League (NASL), and then the United Soccer League (USL) Championship.

Le Droit, January 18, 2020

When asked for comment on Friday, Jeff Hunt had told Le Droit: “I can’t reveal the identity of my partners. It’s not my place to make this announcement, but I can assure you that soccer will be back in Ottawa in 2020 and the franchise will be led by a club with a rich history. When the Fury closed down, the CPL approached me to help bring a club to the nation’s capital. They felt it was important to have eight clubs by 2020. The schedule has not yet been released because they have always wanted Ottawa to be included in the 2020 season. This city already had a successful soccer club. All it needed was a partner with a strong backbone. We found it.”

July 26, 2015: Ottawa Fury versus Carolina Railhawks FC in NASL at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, ON.

Ottawa’s previous professional club, the Ottawa Fury, dissolved in 2019, after failing to receive sanctioning from Canada Soccer and Concacaf, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, to continue playing in the USL Championship, sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as the U.S. second division. The club subsequently sold its USL franchise rights to the Miami FC.

Atlético, according to reports, are keen for their team to continue playing at the Fury’s original home, TD Place Stadium, which holds 24,000. It is not yet clear if the side will compete in the CPL under its original name or, more likely, switch to a new one more in line with the Atlético brand.

TD Place Stadium, Ottawa, Ontario (Photo Credit: Johnny Wakefield)

The La Liga club undertook a similar project in 2017 when they announced the purchase of a 61 per cent stake in Mexico’s San Luís team, who now compete in the country’s top-flight Liga MX competition as Club Atlético San Luís. This team is managed through Atlético de Madrid International Holding, a company created by the Spanish team. These are also not the first attempts by Atlético to expand their footprint outside of Spain. They previously owned a 34.6 % stake in Racing Club de Lens (France, Ligue 2), before selling that stake to Ambar Capital. They also had unsuccesfully attempted to become minority owners of a club in India.

The club, which is controlled by Gil Marín and his family, has always made it clear that their ambition is to extend the Atlético Madrid brand around the world through the acquisition of franchised clubs or academies. With regard to the latter, in 2018 the club opened an academy in Israel and also have opened three other academies in India with the aid of sponsors.

The investments in clubs in Canada and Mexico have come at a good point in time for the Rojiblancos, who are expected to have revenues of 515 million Euros in 2019-2020, a figure 27% higher than in 2018-2019. The breakdown of the revenue total is not known but is attributable to the sale of Antoine Griezmann and Rodri this past summer, as well as the sale of lands where the club’s former stadium, the Vicente Calderón, is located. The success of the commercial side of the club’s operations is also a factor, with revenue of 86.17 millon Euros through corporate sponsorships with Hyundai (sleeve sponsor), as well as strategic partnerships with Telefónica and a new four-year (2019-2023) partnership with Ria Money Transfer on the back of the shirts.


Source Info – Palco23 es el diario líder en información económica del negocio del deporte en España, que informa sobre este sector con la publicación de noticias, reportajes, análisis, entrevistas y artículos de opinión.

Liga dos ricos | Barça à frente do Real Madrid e agora é o clube de futebol com a maior renda do mundo

Os culés aumentaram sua rotatividade em 21,7% na temporada 2018/19

Real Madrid desce para a segunda posição no ranking elaborado pela Deloitte

BARCELONA (3a feira-14 de janeiro de 2020) —

Do ponto de vista do futebol, o Futbol Club Barcelona não se diverte após ser derrotado na semifinal da Supercopa da Espanha e com a demissão do técnico Ernesto Valverde. Mas, do ponto de vista econômico e financeiro, o clube catalão vive uma de suas melhores etapas.

Segundo o estudo da Football Money League, preparado pelo consultor Deloitte, o Futbol Club Barcelona acaba de se tornar o clube de futebol com mais renda no mundo, superando, assim, seu eterno rival: o Real Madrid.

Segundo este relatório da consultoria Deloitte, os catalães aumentaram seu faturamento em 21,7% na temporada 2018/19, atingindo vendas no valor de 840,8 milhões de euros. A Deloitte atribui esse aumento de receita de Barcelona à mudança de seu foco comercial em atividades como merchandising e licenciamento. Aponte especificamente:

“Reconhecendo o poder de sua marca, o clube assumiu maior controle de suas operações, em vez de confiar em terceiros para esses serviços”.

TOP 3 CLUBES DE FUTEBOL COM MAIS RENDA (2020)

_Dados Apresentados por Reason Why de Deloitte

  1. FC Barcelona, 840.8 €
  2. Real Madrid CF, 757.3 €
  3. Manchester United FC, 711,5 €

Enquanto isso, o Real Madrid mal viu sua receita crescer 0,9%, para 757,3 milhões na primeira temporada sem Cristiano Ronaldo. A terceira posição na classificação de riqueza econômica de acordo com a Deloitte é mantida pelo Manchester United, com vendas de 711,5 milhões, a quarta é para o Bayern de Munique, enquanto o PSG ocupa o quinto lugar no Manchester City.

Um grande negócio

Pode-se concluir que os negócios em torno do futebol continuam a crescer sem parar. De fato, os 20 clubes com maior faturamento do mundo excederam 9,2 bilhões de euros em receita na última temporada. Isso representa um crescimento anual de 12% e estabelece um novo recorde histórico.

Para ler mais deste estudo, siga o link aqui: Deloitte Football Money League

Liga de los ricos | El Barça adelanta al Real Madrid y ahora es el club de fútbol con más ingresos del mundo

  • Los culés han aumentado su facturación un 21,7% en la temporada 2018/19 
  • El Real Madrid baja a la segunda posición del ranking elaborado por Deloitte

BARCELONA (el 14 de enero de 2020) —

De la perspectiva futbolística, el Fútbol Club Barcelona no pasa por un buen momento después de haber sido derrotado en la semifinal de la Supercopa de España, y la destitución del técnico Ernesto Valverde. Pero desde el punto de vista económico y financiero, el club catalán vive una de sus mejores etapas.

Según el estudio Football Money League, elaborado por la consultora Deloitte, el Fútbol Club Barcelona acaba de convertirse en el club de fútbol con más ingresos del mundo, superando así a su eterno rival: el Real Madrid.

Según este reporte de la consultora Deloitte, los culés han aumentado su facturación un 21,7% en la temporada 2018/19, hasta alcanzar ventas por valor de 840,8 millones de euros. Deloitte atribuye esta subida de ingresos del club azulgrana al cambio en su enfoque comercial en actividades como el merchandising y la concesión de licencias. En concreto apuntan: 

“Reconociendo el poder de su marca, el club ha tomado un mayor control de sus operaciones, en lugar de depender de terceros para estos servicios”.

TOP 3 CLUBS DE FÚTBOL CON MÁS INGRESOS (2020)

_Data Presented by Reason Why from Deloitte

  1. FC Barcelona, 840.8 €
  2. Real Madrid CF, 757.3 €
  3. Manchester United FC, 711,5 €

El Real Madrid, por su parte, apenas ha visto crecer sus cuenta de ingresos un 0,9% hasta los 757,3 millones en la primera temporada sin Cristiano Ronaldo. La tercera posición en la clasificación de riqueza económica según Deloitte la conserva el Manchester United con unas ventas de 711,5 millones, la cuarta es para el Bayern de Munich mientras el PSG arrebata al Manchester City la quinta posición.

Un negocio enorme

Se puede concluir que el negocio que rodea al fútbol sigue creciendo de forma imparable. De hecho, los 20 clubes con mayor facturación del mundo superaron los 9.200 millones de euros en ingresos durante la pasada temporada. Esto supone un crecimiento interanual del 12% y marca un nuevo récord histórico.

Para leer más de este estudio sigue en ella e aquí: Deloitte Football Money League

RCD Mallorca and Konami Announce Partnership

The agreement will see the gaming conglomerate, famous for the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) video game series, sponsor the team for the remainder of the season

PALMA DE MALLORCA (December 21, 2019) —

Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, the oldest football club in the Balearic Islands, has announced that a sponsorship agreement was signed with Konami that will run until the 30th of June 2020.

The deal will see the inclusion of Los Bermellones in PES2020, alongside the much bigger clubs like FC Barcelona, Bayern München, Juventus and Manchester United, while Mallorca players Take Kubo, Aleix Febas, Salva Sevilla, Iddrisu Baba, Cucho Hernández and Lago Junior underwent 3D facial scanning at the Estadio Son Moix to ensure their likenesses appear in ultra-realistic graphics.

Later this month the rest of the squad will receive the same treatment ahead of an update scheduled for the 16th of December in addition to the inclusion of the Estadio Son Moix in the renowned videogame. Here is the official videoclip released by Konami. Putting it in basic terms, it’s pretty cool.

Video Courtesy of Konami

Partnership Activations

To activate the partnership, Konami said it will run campaigns in all PES titles that will allow gamers to sign six Mallorca players for free. The club and Konami will also jointly run a number of event activations.

Maheta Molango, RCD Mallorca CEO, had this to say about the new agreement:

“For us, this is so much more than a sponsorship,” Molango said at the announcement’s press conference. “We are making a step into the digital world, which is now not only a possibility for clubs but a necessity and what better partner to do that with than Konami. In addition to this, Japan is more than Takefusa Kubo, who is the most relevant player in his country. There is a very important history between RCD Mallorca and Japan with Yoshito Okubo and Akihiro Ienaga. Together with Take, that’s three of the seven Japanese players to have scored in La Liga.

“Lastly, it’s an honour to share this space with E Football PES2020 with clubs such as FC Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester and Bayern Munich. All of this is an honour, people recognise the hard work and brand, which is a step that we are very proud of.”

“For us, there is no better ambassador in Japan than Konami, with good values and a serious brand that thinks globally and that is the key to penetrating the Japanese market. It’s a mutual benefit for the two of us.”

Hosoda Manorito, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer Marketing Producer was equally enthusiastic:

“It’s an honour to be at RCD Mallorca’s side now that there are a lot of Japanese people who follow the club because of Take Kubo,” Manorito said at the live-streamed event. “Seeing Kubo triumphing outside of Japan makes us proud as fans from the country. That shows all the children that it is possible to reach the elite of European football.”

m1

Anuncio oficial en castellano:

El club más antiguo de las Islas Baleares, RCD Mallorca, es el último equipo en unirse a la familia PES

Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. ha anunciado a los aspirantes de la Liga Española, al RCD Mallorca como su último Club Partner para eFootball PES 2020.

Gracias a este anuncio, los jugadores del RCD Mallorca podrán ver sus caras y tatuajes escaneados en 3D, recreados en la última versión del juego. Las nuevas caras de los jugadores que se incluirán son:

  • Salva Sevilla
  • Manolo Reina
  • Lago Junior
  • Ante Budimir
  • Aleix Febas
  • Cucho Hernández
  • Takefusa Kubo
  • Iddrisu Baba

Para celebrar esta última edición de la familia PES, se lanzará una nueva campaña de jugadores de regalo que comenzará el 16 de diciembre en todos los títulos de PES*, recompensando a los usuarios con los siguientes seis jugadores del RCD Mallorca:

  • Salva Sevilla
  • Lago Junior
  • Aleix Febas
  • Cucho Hernández
  • Takefusa Kubo
  • Iddrisu Baba

*Incluyen eFootball PES 2020 (PC / Consola / Móvil), PES Club Manager y PES Card Collection.

El acuerdo oficial entre KONAMI y el RCD Mallorca también contará con un aumento de eventos locales y activaciones entre las dos organizaciones.

Maheta Molango, CEO de RCD Mallorca ha comentado: “Este nuevo acuerdo con KONAMI es un paso adelante para el club en tres aspectos. En primer lugar, para continuar con la digitalización del RCD Mallorca, creemos que alinearnos con KONAMI es fundamental para avanzar de esta manera y adquirir nuevas oportunidades. Además de esto y en el contexto de nuestra expansión en Japón más allá de la inmensa contribución de Take Kubo, una afiliación con el conglomerado de entretenimiento del país es esencial para nuestro mayor crecimiento. Y, por último, nos sentimos honrados de que una compañía como KONAMI, consolidada y con gran atractivo a nivel mundial, quiera impulsar nuestro proyecto para su crecimiento en un mercado tan estratégico como el fútbol español”.

eFootball-PES2020_RCD-MALLORCA_Campaign_EN

Jonas Lygaard, Senior Director Brand & Business Development de Konami Digital Entertainment, B.V. ha declarado: “Siempre nos hemos sentido orgullosos de nuestra capacidad de forjar relaciones duraderas e impactantes con clubes de fútbol de todo el mundo. El anuncio de hoy de nuestra asociación con el RCD Mallorca nos presenta nuevas y emocionantes oportunidades para relacionarnos con nuestro público español”.

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The Miami FC To Join USL Championship For 2020 Season. How It Happened & Why It's A Positive Move

Club will begin season in March 2020

Home games will be at Riccardo Silva Stadium On The FIU Campus

MIAMI, Fla. (December 12, 2019) —

The Miami Football Club will once again be in the second division of U.S. Soccer. The fifth-year club, which began life in and became one of the flagship teams in the now-defunct NASL, has played the last two seasons in the NPSL and NISA, lower level leagues outside of the official division sanctioning of U.S. Soccer.

Statement Released by the Miami FC on December 11, 2019

The team will join the United Soccer Leagues and begin play in the USL Championship in March, 2020 with its home games to be played at Riccardo Silva Stadium on the campus of Florida International University (“FIU”) in the western part of Miami-Dade County. That venue was renamed in 2017 by FIU in recognition of Silva’s financial contributions to the college’s athletic programs. It marks a full time return to that venue for the first time since 2017.

The news was announced at last week’s USL 2019 Annual Winter Summit, held in Orlando. Miami FC sporting personnel and club employees were present, holding meetings and attending sessions.

The Mechanics

The pathway to the USL Championship bears the label “Made in Canada / Fait au Canada.” Here is the background: The Ottawa Fury was owned by Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (“OSEG”). The club joined the NASL in 2014, later moving from the NASL to the USL in 2017. The club has averaged nearly 5,000 fans over the past three seasons, and reached the USL Championship Playoffs in 2019. On November 8, 2019, The Fury announced a suspension of their operations. after receiving news that their sanctioning to play in USL would not be renewed. This was not entirely unexpected, as Ottawa had to fight to receive sanctioning from Concacaf prior to the 2019 season, and Concacaf had been clear that the licensing would be for 2019 only. The confederation has been accused of trying to force Fury FC into the Canadian Premier League, something the club’s owners did not wish to do.

Relocation of the franchise to the United States was one of the ways the franchise could continue in the USL Championship, since it eliminated the need for approval from Canada Soccer, U.S. Soccer and Concacaf. Moreover, a relocation clause was contained in the club’s franchise agreement with the USL.

Last Wednesday, OSEG announced that they had exercised those contractual rights to relocate. Under the arrangement, Ottawa Fury are officially relocating to Miami pursuant to their USL franchise agreement. They then will enter into a contract to sell the club to Riccardo Silva. Under the terms of the sale, the club will operate under the existing the Miami FC name, with Miami FC’s logo and iconic aqua, orange and blue colour scheme. The purchase by the Miami FC involves its same club and staff, which means the Miami FC will not field a team in either the NPSL or the NISA moving forward. The club will also maintain the same ownership and technical staff.

The amount the Miami FC are paying to purchase OSEG’s franchise was not disclosed. For context, the initial expansion fee for USL Championship was estimated to be $7 million in 2018. The likelihood is that the purchase price was less than that, given the desire/need of OSEG to sell its franchise, but probably still a significant amount given the level of interest around the country in obtaining a USL franchise.

“We are extremely grateful to USL CEO Alec Papadakis and President Jake Edwards for their leadership and whole-hearted support during this difficult process,” said Ottawa Fury FC President John Pugh. “We’re also thankful to Paul Dalglish and his team for helping to facilitate this transaction and wish The Miami FC well.”

A Win For The Miami FC

The Miami FC have been highly successful from the start, winning nine trophies and becoming an established presence in the heart of the Miami soccer community. The club recently launched The Miami FC Youth Academy Program with the past year, as part of its commitment to growing the game not only at the professional level, but also at the youth level in Miami.

Miami FC in a Miami derby versus Miami United FC at Barry University on April 20, 2019. |

“We could not be more excited to bring The Miami FC to the USL Championship in 2020,” said The Miami FC General Manager Paul Dalglish. “We will build on the Fury’s success and honour their history, while also elevating our club and our community as part of the fastest growing professional soccer league in the United States. I want to thank Ottawa Sports Entertainment Group for putting this deal together, and to USL CEO Alec Papadakis for welcoming us to the league.”

Dalglish recently moved into the general manager role, after being the head coach. Replacing him on the touchline is Nelson Vargas, a former forward who played for the Miami Fusion. Vargas also was on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. He has served as an assistant coach for Dalglish since 2018. Miami is expected to maintain most of the same roster, as many of the players on the current roster are signed for 2020. The squad was both NPSL and NISA champions this season.

Miami FC versus Stumptown Athletic in NISA. | Photo: Miami FC

Dalglish says the move to the USL Championship will help Miami FC further their ties in the community. “The decision to join USL … gives us a stable platform to further expand our academy program and community work, meaning accessible, inclusive and fun family events that bring all of Miami’s soccer community together,” he said.

What makes this turn of events particularly interesting is that it is set against the backdrop of how Miami FC owner Riccardo Silva has positioned the Miami FC since the club’s inception.

Silva has been a leading advocate of opening the system of US Soccer. He founded the club in 2015, along with former AC Milan defender and fellow Italian Paolo Maldini. This came after David Beckham’s initial announcement in February 2014 of his intent to exercise his option to bring an MLS expansion franchise to Miami. At that time, Beckham’s MLS club was only provisional, and initially it was thought the team could begin play in 2016 or maybe 2017 at the latest. However, it would take until January 29, 2018 for Miami Beckham United to even become a confirmed expansion club in MLS. During that interim Silva was able to insert the Miami FC into the market and get them launched for the 2016 NASL season.

Riccardo Silva, right, with Miami FC part owner Paulo Maldini, left, in 2015.

In 2017, Silva made a $4 billion media rights offer to Major League Soccer. That offer was summarily rejected by MLS, though in defence of that position it came at a time that MLS was contractually bound to its existing broadcast rights holders, which made any negotiations impossible without breaching the contracts it had in place. The offer was also conditioned upon MLS agreeing to implement promotion and relegation, something that has been a non-starter for MLS.

Returning to the present, it might seem surprising to some that a club whose owner has been such an advocate of change in the system would join USL, a league that cooperates with MLS, and in fact has clubs that are owned by MLS clubs operating within its very ranks. But USL continues its upward trajectory, gaining new markets and seeing more of its clubs moving to better facilities. The league has established itself as a solid second division league and fertile ground for investors interested in soccer. It has also been exploring a more open system. USL president Jake Edwards has been very open about his aim to add promotion and relegation in the USL between its second-division Championship and third-division League One. While that falls short of the completely open system Silva has been advocating, it would still be a significant step in that direction.

“We are evaluating what the landscape looks like in all of those divisions over the course of the next few seasons,” Edwards said when interviewed this summer. “But that work is happening now… I’m also well aware of the excitement and the drama, the reward for ambition, and the punishment for apathy.”

Analysing the move to the USL Championship, by all accounts it is a smart business decision for Silva and the Miami FC. While they were advocating for change in the system, the collapse of the NASL left them without a viable second-tier league to play in. The NASL, now defunct, is still the subject of an existing lawsuit in Federal Court, one that it is likely to lose. The Miami FC, along with minor league side Kingston Stockade, also filed a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) in Switzerland, requesting that judicial body to rule that the United States Soccer Federation is in violation of Article 9 of FIFA, which requires promotion-relegation to be the method of determining what teams compete at what level within a country’s domestic league stricture. The CAS has yet to make a ruling, but it would be a real shock to see it intervene in the way the petitioners would like, one that would likely lead to more litigation. Finally, without any disrespect to leagues such as the NISA, the road to having the strength to be a real force for chance is a long and difficult one absent forces beyond them also wanting change.

There is also the benefit of national exposure through the USL’s broadcast agreement with ESPN. Last August, the USL announced a new three-year rights agreement with ESPN that features the USL Championship and League One matches through the 2022 season. Under that new agreement, 18 regular-season games from the Championship will air on ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU or ESPN Deportes annually in addition to the USL Championship Final. All other matches will be streamed live on ESPN+ subscription platform.

In conclusion, joining an ambitious league growing in quality and reputation each year, with a vision of where it wants to go can only be a benefit to the Miami FC. Being in a stable league that has a national television contract is something the club needs, given that MLS’ Inter Miami CF also begins its inaugural season in March, has an ownership group worth billions and will certainly be the primary focus of the soccer media’s attention. Competition though, even if indirect and on different levels at different budgets, is always good. Smart scheduling, a well-thought marketing plan, outstanding communications team, proper price points for tickets and merchandise and giving fans a reason to feel invested in the club will all be keys to success. Outsiders may call Miami a bad sports town, but history has proven that a winning sports team here will get attention. Miami and South Florida have enjoyed an explosion of fútbol at all levels in recent years. New clubs have sprung up everywhere from West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, south across Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Some are even bringing the concept of having fans own a stake in the club to the region. The demographics are arguably the best in the nation for soccer. The game resonates with the population, and the city and region surrounding Miami are easily big enough for more than one club to not only survive, but thrive.

To sum up Miami FC’s decision, it’s a positive move by a club that is committed to change and has likely reached a conclusion that the best avenue to continue to push for that change is as a part of the established system instead of as an outsider.