Here’s what’s going on in the soccer industry this morning…
- Free speech campaigners rolled out a soccer pitch in central Paris on Wednesday with posters of jailed journalists as the players, in a demonstration about press freedom in Russia on the eve of the World Cup.
- Manchester United are the world’s most valuable soccer club for a second consecutive year, according to the annual list published by Forbes on Tuesday.
- British broadcaster Sky and sports media group Perform won the rights to screen Italy’s top-flight Serie A football matches until 2021 for more than 973 million euros ($1.2 billion) a season, Italy’s soccer league chairman said.
- Soccer’s World Cup begins Thursday with host Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. Against that backdrop, the world’s biggest sport remains uncontested in its popularity, as evidenced by Nielsen Sports’ annual World Football Report, and still has room to grow.
- Hyundai Motor has today announced a multi-year partnership with Club Atlético de Madrid, becoming the club’s new Global Automotive Partner. From next season the Hyundai brand logo will be presented on the sleeve of the Europa League champion’s jersey in all domestic competitions until 2021.
- Premier League champions Manchester City have announced their first ever global betting partnership with Marathonbet.
- At least three other potential buyers have joined Shahid Khan in expressing an interest in purchasing Wembley stadium.
- Sportswear giant Nike has said it is unable to supply Iran’s Fifa World Cup stars with soccer boots because of US sanctions.
- English soccer’s Football Association (FA) has revealed that it trialled virtual replacement technology on Elland Road’s LED perimeter signage during England’s recent Fifa World Cup warm-up match against Costa Rica.