Soccer Business Bits: Chelsea Comes to Town, Smart Soccer & More

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that English Premier League power Chelsea will be the opponent for the 2012 iteration of the Major League Soccer All Star Game.  The match will be played at PPL Park and the official announcement will take place tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.  Manchester United was the opponent for the last two AS Games and Chelsea was last the opponent in 2006.  Chelsea will play at least two other matches as part of their US tour, including Seattle and AC Milan.  Notably, Chelsea, like MLS, is adidas sponsored.   The game will undoubtedly sell out and will generate some publicity for the Union in the City of Brotherly Love.

Today it was announced that AT&T will present the the All Star Game as the “first smart soccer game.” The game will showcase the new miocoach  philosophy provided by adidas. According to the league’s press release “the micoach professional soccer team tracking system provides coaches with “real-time performance metrics,” including player position, power output, speed, distance covered, intensity of play, acceleration and GPS heat mapping. It can then all be outputted and displayed on a mobile tablet or computer over a WiFi network. And it is not only for coaches and players to assess their performance. There are numerous consumer applications. is currently developing several digital products to incorporate the micoach data and bring fans closer the game than ever before.”

Finally, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs start on Wednesday and the NBC Sports Network and NBC will broadcast an enormous number of games over that time.  The playoffs are easily the NBSCN’s biggest viewership grabber and could be a vehicle to promote the network’s other live sports property.  It will be interesting to see what efforts the network makes to push soccer during its hockey telecasts.