CHICAGO—Two-time defending English Premiership League champion Chelsea Football Club has retained Hill & Knowlton’s sports practice as its communications consultancy in the United States. H&K will help promote the club’s upcoming U.S. tour, which will include a training stop in Los Angeles, and will be headlined by a match against MLS All-Stars at the 2006 Sierra Mist Major League Soccer All-Star Game at the new Toyota Stadium in Chicago.
“Chelsea is showing a greater commitment to the U.S. soccer market than any other top European club, so it is natural that we will seek relationships with top brands in specific areas to assist our business aims,” says Simon Greenberg, director of communications for Chelsea FC. “This will be our third consecutive year of pre-season training in the U.S., and we want to capitalize on this from a brand and business perspective but we are also committed to promoting soccer generally in the US and working on grass roots programs.”
Hill & Knowlton has won several new sports-related clients over the last 12 months including Allianz, adidas, Beijing 2008, The Big Ten Conference, Devine Racing, HSBC, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Chelsea account will be led day-to-day by Patrick Sandusky, a vice president in the sports practice, who recently returned from four years at H&K London.