Soccer Business Bits: Champions League Ratings, LiveStrong Park & More

As we have discussed over the last two weeks FOX broadcast the Champions League Final for the second straight year.  The Nielsen ratings are out and the network scored a 1.8 overnight.  This represents a significant increase over the final from last year.  The 2010 Final achieved were not nearly as good as expected, with the match scoring a 1.1.  The 2011 Final compares favorably with the 2009 Final on ESPN which was seen by more than 1 million households.  As we said last week, the 2011 match-up brings the teams with the best cache to network television.  Barcelona and Manchester United have enormous followings in the United States and the dramatic rise in ratings shows the power of those two brands.

The opening of LiveStrong Park is just days away and the Sporting PR machine has provided a detailed breakdown of some of the events surrounding the big event.  From the press release, here are some of the events:

All ticket holders may then enter LIVESTRONGSporting Park, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT when gates open to to the Sprint Plaza for Live at LSP presented by INK, the first of a season-long concert series…

“The pre-game ceremony will also include a special video on each of the stadium’s HD video boards – 2,016 square foot in the south end and 550 square feet in the north end – and a stealth flyover. The National Anthem will be sung by local blues and jazz singer Ida McBeth, and military members from Whiteman Airforce Base will sing God Bless America. Numerous special guests are expected to be in attendance for the match, including Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, honorary Sporting Kansas City member Chad Ochocinco and Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Joe Reardon. The club’s first manager, Ron Newman, will be in attendance, and will meet with fans in the Members’ Club prior to the match.”

Finally, the Spain/USA match is a few days away and according to multiple reports, it will bring the biggest crowd ever to see a soccer match in Foxboro