Fanatics, Orlando City SC Announce New Long-Term Omnichannel Retail Partnership

Rendering: Orlando City SC

Rendering: Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC and Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, announced a new long-term retail partnership as the Club kicked off its fourth Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign on Saturday, March 3, at Orlando City Stadium. Fanatics, which has operated e-commerce for the team since they joined the League in 2015, has taken over in-venue operations and created a seamless omnichannel experience for fans whether shopping for merchandise and apparel online, on their phone or at the new team merchandise store at Orlando City Stadium.

"We are very pleased with the opportunity to bring the merchandise experience together for our fans,” said Orlando City SC Chief Revenue Officer Chris Gallagher. “This ongoing and growing relationship with Fanatics will help us improve their experience in our stadium and provide them with more retail options across our men and women’s teams."

In 2018, Orlando City Stadium will provide fans with a significantly enhanced gameday experience, featuring a completely renovated main team store and new concourse kiosks with an expanded assortment of team gear and apparel including jerseys, shirts, caps, scarves and more. Under the deal, Fanatics will also manage online and gameday retail for the Orlando Pride, the Club’s National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team, set to begin their third campaign in late March. 

“We are excited to add Orlando City SC to our expanding in-venue roster, and to also debut new and improved stores and kiosks throughout Orlando City Stadium,” said Cole Gahagan, Fanatics Chief Commercial Officer. “Our innovative omnichannel retail experience will offer fans an even larger assortment of high quality products to show support for both Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride.”

Last fall, Fanatics extended their long-term deal with MLS, highlighted by exclusive rights to produce a significantly expanded assortment of fan gear, headwear and hard goods across all retail and wholesale channels. Fans shopping across all devices and retail channels will now have access to real-time items to celebrate team milestones, incredible player feats and record-breaking performances, available on-demand through Fanatics’ agile supply chain and vertical manufacturing model.

Orlando City, Orlando Pride Announce 2018 ‘Kickoff to Soccer’ Events

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Orlando City SC unveils plans for its 2018 “Kickoff to Soccer” events, which is a month-long celebration to commence the start of the Major League Soccer (MLS) and National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) seasons in Central Florida. Orlando City begins its fourth MLS campaign on March 3, opening at home against D.C. United at 7:30 p.m. ET, while the Orlando Pride begin their quest for back-to-back NWSL playoff appearances at a date to be announced.

Kickoff to Soccer, a reimagining of the Club’s annual Kickoff Week, will begin on February 23 with the Soccer Ball presented by Orlando Health. At this event, fans will have the opportunity to celebrate the start of the MLS and NWSL seasons, meet players from both City and the Pride and experience soccer culture from around the world.

The Club will host its annual Purple Pride 5k presented by Orlando Health, SunPass, JetBlue and Publix on Feb. 24, and the fan-favorite Kids vs. Pros match presented by Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children will return on Feb. 27 with all proceeds benefiting the Orlando City Foundation. Fans will celebrate the start of the MLS season with a Pub Crawl through downtown Orlando the night before City’s home opener. The first 50 registrations to will receive $10 off their next Uber ride and drink specials will be offered by Heineken, Jack Daniels, Finlandia, El Jimador and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly.

Orlando City Stadium will be on display on March 7 when Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris and the No. 1 U.S. Women’s National Team host No. 3 England in the SheBelieves Cup. That match, at 7 p.m. ET, will follow No. 2 Germany against No. 6 France at 4 p.m. ET.

More details on additional events, including the third iteration of Winning Women in Purple Networking Event, Pride in the House and the Pride’s home opener, will be announced at a future date.

Fans should also be on the lookout on Tuesday, Feb. 27, for the Club’s “Scarf the City” event, featuring free Orlando City and Orlando Pride scarves, courtesy of JetBlue, throughout the City Beautiful.

Additional details and registration information for all Kickoff to Soccer events can be found below:

Soccer Ball | Friday, Feb. 23
7 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Orlando
Celebrate the Kickoff to Soccer in Orlando and experience soccer culture from around the world at the inaugural Soccer Ball presented by Orlando Health, with all proceeds benefiting the Orlando City Foundation. Enjoy entertainment, bid on silent and live auction items, and meet the players for the 2018 seasons.
Purchase Tickets

Purple Pride 5K | Saturday, Feb. 24
8 a.m.
The Purple Pride 5K returns for a fourth straight year with the start and finish taking place at Orlando City Stadium. This year’s 5k course will feature a lap within Orlando City Stadium’s main concourse. Each runner will receive a race t-shirt and one ticket to a select Orlando City match during the 2018 MLS season.
Register Now

Scarf the City | Tuesday, Feb. 27
Orlando City and Orlando Pride will be looking to take over Central Florida with Scarf the City presented by JetBlue. For more information and clues follow @OrlandoCitySC and @ORLPride.

Kids vs. Pros | Tuesday, Feb. 27
7:30 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium
The rematch is on. This star-studded match will feature 100 kids, ages 8-10, vs. players from Orlando City and Orlando Pride for two 20-minute halves at Orlando City Stadium. Proceeds from the match will benefit the Orlando City Foundation. Season ticket members will receive complimentary admission while tickets are available to the general public with a $10 donation.
Purchase Tickets

Orlando City Pub Crawl | Friday, March 2
5:30-10:30 p.m.
We want to get you back to doing what City fans do best: Put on their finest purple attire, drink for free and crawl around the City Beautiful as if it were game day at downtown City Pubs Elixir, Lion’s Pride and Wall Street Plaza.
Register Now

Winning Women in Purple: Networking Event | TBD
Enjoy a night of professional growth and networking courtesy of the Orlando Pride presented by Orlando Health. Learn from top Central Florida women during our panel discussion on various professional topics. Every Winning Woman in attendance will receive a complimentary beverage along with a ticket to attend the 2018 Pride Home Opener.
Registration coming soon

Pride in the House | TBD
We’re opening up Orlando City Stadium for the Pride faithful to enjoy fun, family activities throughout the concourse of the Stadium. Pride players will also be in attendance at each of these activities to take pictures and sign autographs. More details to be announced!
Registration coming soon

Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco Visit Tanzania

Photo: Alex Morgan via Instagram

Photo: Alex Morgan via Instagram

Around this time last year, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris spent time out of her offseason to visit Liberia and the Monrovia Football Academy, promoting the growth of the game of soccer in Africa. This year, Alex Morgan and husband Servando Carrasco have taken the opportunity to visit four cities in Tanzania from now until December 9 as part of the U.S. State Department and U.S. Soccer Sport Envoy Program.

Both Morgan and Carrasco will be participating in Sports Diplomacy programs and soccer clinics with more than 150 students in different areas of the country, while also speaking to students in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Both also plan to visit two all-girls soccer programs to help bring to light the importance of equality through sport and growing the game of soccer.

The U.S. Soccer federation has sent over 70 players overseas to conduct different soccer clinics since the program started back in 2005 and look to continue to help grow the game of soccer in underprivileged areas across the world.

For full article use link: https://www.orlandocitysc.com/post/2017/12/05/alex-morgan-and-servando-carrasco-visit-tanzania 

Ticketmaster and Orlando City SC Extend Partnership to Continue Technology Transformation

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Ticketmaster, the global market leader in ticketing, today announced an extended multiyear partnership with Orlando City Soccer Club, home of Orlando City in Major League Soccer and Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer league, to serve as the official ticketing and technology partner for all live events at Orlando City Stadium.

Following the venue’s successful opening earlier this year utilizing Ticketmaster Presence and digital ticketing, the stadium will soon roll out Ticketmaster’s easy-to-use “tap and go” venue entry system through the renewed agreement that will further enhance the club’s fan experience.

Since implementing Ticketmaster Presence in March 2017, Orlando City SC has moved to a fully digital ticketing system with great success. In a matter of months, the club saw a six-fold increase in mobile entry, with 65% of fans now using mobile, and the remaining 35% utilizing NFC-enabled paper smart tickets or season ticket member cards. Digital tickets have provided Orlando City SC with unparalleled understanding of event attendees after seeing a 398% increase in new fan identification. 

“Orlando City SC’s partnership with Ticketmaster has revolutionized the way we do business, helping us to reach our goal of creating the best fan experiences on the ground,” said Chris Gallagher, Orlando City SC’s Chief Revenue Officer.  “Because of Ticketmaster’s technology, we can leverage the insights gleaned from our ‘smart stadium’ to better understand who’s entering the venue, what’s happening during an event and how we can use this information to improve fan engagement.”

To date, Orlando City Stadium has hosted over half a million fans in its 25,500-seat venue from March to October, including regular league play for the Club’s three teams including Orlando City in MLS, Orlando Pride in the NWSL and Orlando City B in the United Soccer League (USL), as well as the U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match and the NWSL Championship Cup.

“Orlando City SC is one of the most tech-forward organizations in MLS, paving the way for other venues and sports teams in North America to appreciate the immense benefits of adopting new ticketing and event management technology,” said Greg Economou, Chief Commercial Officer for Ticketmaster North America. “We look forward to continued innovation with our partners at Orlando City to create even greater experiences for fans.”

Through its partnership with the global ticketing leader, Orlando City SC has strengthened its relationships with season ticket members and single-game fans by improving its CRM lead strategy, campaign tracking and analysis to boost the impact of their digital campaigns. Ticketmaster, a Founding Partner of the stadium, provides safe ticket distribution and advanced marketing support as the official ticketing technology platform for more than half of all MLS teams.

Through its extended Ticketmaster partnership, Orlando City Stadium will also work closely with Live Nation to expand its content offering into the concert sector, which includes bringing new live entertainment events to the stadium.

National Women's Soccer League Welcomes Real Salt Lake

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The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer (MLS) will own and operate a new NWSL team which will join the league starting in the 2018 season. The newly-launched club will play its home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium.

NWSL Managing Director of Operations Amanda Duffy will be joining Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen and Utah Governor Gary Herbert at an historic press conference in the Interform Club at Rio Tinto Stadium to formally introduce the deepening and broadening of the Claret-and-Cobalt pyramid in what Governor Herbert has long called "The State of Sport."

"We are very excited to welcome Dell Loy Hansen and Real Salt Lake into the NWSL family as the newest member of our league," said Duffy. "During our discussions in this process, Real Salt Lake has demonstrated their unquestionable desire and commitment to bring the highest level of professional women's soccer to all fans of the game in Salt Lake City and Utah. Real Salt Lake will immediately be able to hit the ground running on the business side as well as provide the players with a top-notch training ground and one of the best game venues in the country."

The new Salt Lake side's official name, brand identity and ticket pricing, broadcast options and corporate opportunities, along with the coaching hires and formation of the NWSL club's roster, will be announced in coming days and weeks.

"Our goal is build the very best women's sports organization in America," said Hansen , weeks before the club opens the $73 million Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman, Utah, just 15 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. "Only 15 days ago was I asked to look into this opportunity, and as we learned about the NWSL vision from the league office and met with A&E executives as well as U.S. Soccer about their aspirations on and off the field, we knew we not only wanted to join as quickly as possible and participate, but we believe that our current infrastructure as well as the development initiatives on the RSL horizon align perfectly. Our community is already passionate about women's sports, and we believe that empowering and advancing the women's game accelerates the change to build a better Utah."

Fans will get to watch a league featuring the brightest stars in women's soccer - such as Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe, all of whom helped lead the U.S. Women's National Team to an unprecedented third World Cup title in 2015. In addition, the league also boasts Canada internationals - and reigning Olympic bronze medalists - Christine Sinclair, Allysha Chapman, Desiree Scott and Shelina Zadorsky as well as international stars such as Brazil legend Marta, Wales dynamo Jess Fishlock and Australia sharpshooter Samantha Kerr.

RSL will be part of the NWSL for what will be an historic sixth season. This past season, the NWSL celebrated the 500th game in league history - more than the combined total of the two previous women's leagues - as it continued to push women's professional soccer to new heights as the best league in the world.

Portland Thorns FC capped off the league's successful fifth season with a 1-0 victory in October over the North Carolina Courage in the 2017 NWSL Championship Game as the Thorns joined FC Kansas City as the only two clubs to win the league title on two occasions. The Western New York Flash is the only other team to lift the NWSL Championship trophy when they claimed the league crown in 2016.

The 2018 season will once again feature the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime every Saturday during the regular season as well as livestreams of matches on the go90 app and website. International fans will also be able to continue to watch games on the new NWSL app and revamped NWSLsoccer.com - both of which will strengthened with additional features and improvements in 2018.

For more information on the Real Salt Lake entry into NWSL, visit www.RSL.com/NWSL or follow them on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

About Real Salt Lake / Real Monarchs:
Real Salt Lake recently concluded off its 13th Major League Soccer season in 2017. The club's MLS Cup 2009 victory marked the state of Utah's only major professional championship in nearly 40 years, the title preceding an historic run to the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League Final. Buoyed by a passionate base now approaching 14,000+ season ticket holders, RSL has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage since building its permanent Rio Tinto Stadium home in Sandy.

In 2015, the club expanded its development pyramid with the addition of Real Monarchs, one of several MLS-operated clubs playing in the USL, the United States' Division II setup.  The RSL Foundation was established in 2016, created with the goals of being active in the community year-round, utilizing the popularity and reach of RSL and the Monarchs in promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, engaging supporters of soccer to raise funds and volunteer time for various local initiatives.  Lastly, in 2017, Owner Dell Loy Hansen opened the Zions Bank Real Academy - a world-class training facility that will host teams at all levels of the pyramid, along with the relocation of the renowned Real Salt Lake Academy in Herriman, Utah.

--- www.NWSLsoccer.com ---

MLS All-Star and U.S. MNT Forward, Dom Dwyer, Rejoins Orlando City SC

Photo: Orlando Sentinel

Photo: Orlando Sentinel

Orlando City SC acquires forward Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for $400,000 in General Allocation Money and $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, plus up to $700,000 in future Allocation Money based on the player’s performance.

“Our group has worked hard to find potential additions to the Club and we are thrilled to finalize this deal and add an important piece to the roster in Dom,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said. “Dom is a fantastic player who recently gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of with the U.S. Men’s National Team and will keep doing so with the Club and at the MLS All-Star game next week.”

Dwyer is coming off a record-setting performance in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the U.S. men's national team. After becoming a United States citizen in March, Dwyer scored 19 minutes into his U.S. debut on July 1 against Ghana. The former University of South Florida Bull then scored on July 8 against Panama, becoming the 10th player in National Team history to score in each of his first two matches.

“Dom adds tremendous strength to our attack. He brings speed, energy and strong technical ability,” General Manager Niki Budalic added. “He has grown as a player over the years into one who is a threat whenever he’s on the field.”  

This is Dwyer’s second stint with Orlando City. In March 2013, then-MLS affiliate Sporting KC loaned Dwyer to Orlando City in the USL Pro. Dwyer scored a record 15 goals in 13 league games before being recalled to SKC. Dwyer was then loaned back to Orlando City for the 2013 USL Pro Championship game, where he scored four goals to lead City to a 7-4 win, capturing Championship Game MVP honors and the Lions their second USL Pro title. The 2012 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick also scored three goals in 21 regular and postseason appearances for Sporting KC en route to the 2013 MLS Cup championship.

Dwyer became a regular for Sporting in 2014, starting 31 of his 33 appearances and scoring 22 goals, the second-most in the league. The Cuckfield, England, native scored 12 goals in 30 MLS appearances in 2015 and 16 goals in 33 appearances in 2016, finishing fifth in the league. Dwyer’s 57 regular season goals are the fourth-most in MLS since 2012.

Orlando City SC Honored with Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award

Orlando City SC is honored to be the recipient of the 2017 Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award and take part in the third annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards sponsored by ESPN and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The award recognizes Orlando City for proactively standing up for inclusion, diversity and respect for others. The organization’s community-first reputation reached a peak when the Club provided a platform for healing and growth following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy one year ago this week.

Named after the beloved ESPN commentator who passed away in 2015, the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award honors people, teams and organizations in the world of sports that have taken risks and used an innovative approach to help those in need through the power of sports. The honoree receives a $100,000 grant to donate to a qualified charity related to the humanitarian efforts. To continue supporting the victims and families of the Pulse events, the Club has chosen to split the reward between the Better Together Fund, Contigo Fund and OnePulse Foundation.

“We are grateful and honored to be nominated and chosen for this award,” said Orlando’s VP of Community Relations Kay Rawlins, who will accept the award on the Club’s behalf. “This is one of the most important awards we could receive because it’s about the positive impact we could have in the community as an organization.”

According to the organizing committee, Orlando City and its supporters crafted a bold, inspired and innovative response for a professional sporting event following the tragic attack, as the Lions hosted the San Jose Earthquakes six days later on June 18.  

The Club, then in its second year in Major League Soccer, took a stand to define its character and commitment to respect and inclusion. Every aspect of the match was a dedication to those whose lives were lost—from the inspirational music played during pregame, down to the rainbow-colored corner flags on the field. The families of the victims along with first responders were recognized before the game. All players wore #OrlandoUnited patches on their jersey, black armbands and rainbow wristbands. The teams walked out to The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” instead of the traditional FIFA anthem. In the 49th minute of play, the game was intentionally stopped for the first time in MLS history for a moment of silence. A section of seats was left empty at midfield, each filled only with a single colorful balloon, later to be memorialized with 49 dedicated rainbow-colored seats in Section 12 of the Club’s new stadium. Additionally, Orlando City SC raised $500,000 for the OneOrlando Fund in 2016 and continue to support those fundraising efforts.                

The Third Annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award sponsored by ESPN and Bristol-Myers Squibb will honor its award winners on Tuesday, July 11 at L.A. LIVE’s The Novo. Highlights of the evening will be showcased during a one-hour program on ESPN on July 25, at 7 p.m. ET.

The net proceeds of the event will benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the V Foundation. In addition, ESPN will grant another $1 million to the charities of the nominees and winners. Combined, more than $1.7 million will be distributed to the Orlando community as a result of the Club’s initiative in 2016.

QueensCast: Episode 54 - From Blue Skies to Breaking Boston’s Resolve We Prep for International BuH-Byes!

So much show-n-tell this week it would make a first grader jealous! The kids are out of school and the ladies are coming home! Time to fire up the Purple People Eater and create an unpleasant environment for the Yankees! As Summer hits, so does this heat and we talk about the importance of heat and eye safety throughout the season. 

Near and dear to us is remembering the friends and family we as a community lost on June 12, 2016 in the Pulse Tragedy – http://www.cityoforlando.net/pulse/ -

QueensCast GEARED UP: Movin' On Up!

Have you ever run into the mall to stop by your favorite store only to find a CHRISTMAS STORE?!?!.....and it’s APRIL! <insert GASP> Well, you haven’t been the only one to receive this surprise. United World Soccer moved last fall to a new location, but it's still in the Florida Mall. We are now conveniently located next to Dillards, on the East end of the mall.

Here’s the scoop on the easiest way to get in and out fast! Oh wait, maybe that’s just me…perhaps you actually want to look around the mall. Either way, I’ll get you into the soccer shop in a jiffy!

READY? Go in any entrance of Dillards. Make your way to where Dillards meets the mall.

BOOM!!!!! We are right there on the RIGHT! Come on in and check out our enormous array of soccer apparel, boots/cleats/turfs/indoors, balls, shin guards, goalie gloves, hats and other merchandise. We have Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride gear up front.  Plus, a huge selection of National, EPL, Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, and MLS jerseys!

In the back of the store, you’ll find our "BOOT WALL" complete with NIKE and ADIDAS. We also carry PUMA and NEW BALANCE.

Come check out our new and improved location, for all of your soccer needs!!! Let's score!