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Chivas looks to expand global presence with International Champions Cup participation

CD Guadalajara, better known as Chivas, believes its participation in the International Champions Cup for the first time this summer will help the club expand its footprint in Europe and Asia in the long term.

The Liga MX club will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich by participating in the pre-season tournament, which is run by Relevent Sports.

For now Chivas has signed a deal to take part in the ICC just for this summer. The club, though, is working to finalize a long-term contract with Relevent, which it is hoped will help transform the club from a major presence in North America into a legitimate global brand.

“We are, I should say, the most important Liga MX team and we have played many games in the United States against other Liga MX teams but now this is different,” José Luis Higuera, the Chivas chief executive, told SportBusiness.

“This is a very serious and prestigious competition and we will be playing and competing against the elite soccer clubs, which is very important for us.

“We have worked very hard to to get into this competition and I think will be invited to the next five or perhaps 10 tournaments. Now Chivas is going to be a regular club in [the ICC].

“Now we will have a better network in these kind of events and in the medium and long term we would like to expand our brand to Europe and Asia. We are talking with Relevent about expanding our brand together [in these continents] in the next few years. Our plan is to be global.”

Chivas is also looking to secure a US broadcast partner for the club OTT streaming service Chivas TV once its deal with Univision runs out in the summer.

US broadcasters buy the TV rights to Liga MX teams on a club-by-club basis and it is hoped that the ICC participation will help lead to a more lucrative partnership. “Chivas TV is a very important tool for us,” Higuera said.