Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com provides some interesting thoughts on the impact of the recent DC United sale on the valuation of MLS franchises. According to Ozanian, the purchase of a 60% share in the team by the Philadelphia 76ers minority owner puts the value of an MLS franchise at $50 million. Given that MLS teams sold their initial share for $5 million about 15 years ago, this is remarkable growth. This is especially true given the stadium issues facing the team. However, given the expansion team buy-in, this number is not that surprising. With investors willing to spend around $40 million for an expansion team, a $50 million valuation for one of the league’s most prominent franchises makes sense.
Russian energy giant Gazprom has signed on as the sixth and final UEFA Champions League partner. Gazprom joins Heineken, UniCredit, Ford, MasterCard and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as the 3 year partners of the high level soccer tournament. These are large international corporations that stand to reap strong global benefits from their association with the prestigious event.
Finally, hereis the list of Herbalife World Football Challenge games for 2012. Chelsea FC, Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain , AC Milan, Liverpool FC, Juventus, LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC and D.C. United are confirmed participants. The series kicks off on July 18 in Seattle. All matches will be broadcast in the U.S. on ESPN the family of networks or FOX Soccer while TSN, Sportsnet and RDS will be the event’s broadcast partners in Canada. The series concludes on August 11 with Real Madrid and Celtic in Philly.