Chelsea Football Club is hoping to cash in on the “Beckham” factor by launching what it claims is the first European club website aimed at “soccer” fans in the US.
The initiative is part of ambitious plans by Chelsea FC to increase its US following and become the world’s biggest club brand.
It follows a pre-season tour in the US this summer and a four-year deal with The Walt Disney Company. Chelsea is now the official professional soccer club of the entertainment giant’s Wide World of Sports programme, which includes the biggest youth soccer tournament in the US.
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon says the site will allow it to engage with US fans in “a way that no other football club currently does”. He points to growing interest in the club in the US following the summer tour.
The site will include an interactive social networking “members map”, as well as US-specific “soccer” content, such as daily podcasts and video updates. Columnists will include New York Times sports reporter Jack Bell.
It will also offer a dedicated coaching section with tips from club staff, which aims to provide professional advice to parents who coach junior sides.