Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chelsea Signs 4-Year Deal With Disney

England's Chelsea Signs 4-Year Deal to Become Disney's Official Soccer Club
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chelsea of the English Premier League has signed a four-year deal with The Walt Disney Co. to become the official pro soccer club of Disney's Wide World of Sports complex and presenting sponsor of the Disney Soccer Showcase Series.

Chelsea will also have a significant presence at other Disney-created soccer events through coaching and player clinics held in conjunction with some of the events.

An annual educational exchange program will also be created where at least one Chelsea Soccer Academy team will visit and compete at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida.

In exchange, Chelsea will bring a winning team from a selected Disney soccer tournament to be their guests at a Chelsea match and train at their soccer academy in England.

"Chelsea is committed to assisting and promoting all levels of soccer in the United States, and youth soccer is a massive part of that," Chelsea business affairs director Paul Smith said.

Further talks between Chelsea and Disney are planned to see how Chelsea can work with the media and entertainment company's various brands.

"To align ourselves with Chelsea FC will not only confirm the position of the Disney Soccer Showcase as the premiere youth soccer tournament in the United States, but now makes it an absolute must tournament for youth soccer players everywhere," said Mike Millay, director of sports at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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