Women’s International Champions Cup to expand content platform, tournament

United States-based soccer promoters Relevent Sports Group has announced plans to develop the Women’s International Champions Cup, with additional content platforms and an expanded tournament.

This week, Relevent Sports debuted The Fixture by WICC, a recurring digital show which is dedicated to the global women’s game. Hosted by The Athletic’s Meg Linehan, the program, which includes news and highlights, is available on all Women’s International Champions Cup and International Champions Cup social media channels.

Relevent Sports has also partnered with LaLiga North America to create a new weekly interview show dubbed The Conference Call, hosted by international stars Allie Long and Vero Boquete. Additionally, Relevent is producing a full-length documentary about Olympique Lyonnais Féminin star Ada Hegerberg, the first-ever female Ballon d’Or winner, which will premier in the fall.

There are also plans to expand the Women’s International Champions Cup tournament in the coming years. SportBusiness understands this will include increasing the competition featuring teams from Europe and the National Women’s Soccer League from four to eight teams and holding it in multiple US venues from 2022.

Plans to expand the competition from four to eight teams in 2019 fell through in part because of the Women’s World Cup in France and renovations to the Portland Thorns’ stadium Providence Park.

“I want to go bigger for sure,” Relevent Sports executive chairman Charlie Stillitano told SportBusiness in December. “The challenge is getting US and European teams to fit into the calendar together. It will expand, I don’t know if it will next year.”

Relevent Sports is also planning a new initiative “to highlight players, coaches, executives, journalists and influencers that are leading the effort to help grow and expand women’s soccer.”

“This enhanced investment underscores RSG’s commitment to championing women’s soccer and providing more opportunities for female athletes to share their talent and voice with the world,” said Susie Fiore, who leads Relevent Sports’ Women’s International Champions Cup platform. “We want to make sure that fans are able to follow their favorite players in both their club and national team careers 365 days a year through our WICC platform.”

In June, Relevent Sports called off the 2020 Women’s International Champions Cup as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

A four-team tournament was due to be held in August at Providence Park. Two NWSL teams and two leading European women’s teams were lined up, reportedly including the Thorns, Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, and two others. Providence Park is the front-runner to host the event in 2021.

In April, Relevent also called off this year’s men’s tournament in the wake of the ongoing health crisis.

And earlier this week, a federal judge dismissed an antitrust claim Relevent had levied against US Soccer.