Footiebusiness Archives for January 2009

Happy New Year: Turnkey Poll & USL/NASL Status

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With the New Year looming, here are a couple of quick hits to take you through the holiday and the weekend.

Turnkey Sports published a poll that questioned 1,100 senior sports executives from professional and collegiate sports about an array of year end questions. Some interesting soccer notes:

1.

Topic of the Year: Bringing the Fans to MLS

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During the course of the year we focused our attention on the business of bringing fans to Major League Soccer. The most popular post in that series was our interview with Messrs. Goff, Ives and Davis. Check below for that interview and click through the link to follow the rest of our series.

Soccer Business Bits: MLS Sues Black & Decker AND MLS in Minn?

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Sports Business Daily is reporting that MLS has sued tool manufacturer Black & Decker over an alleged "ambush marketing campaign" by B&D division DeWalt.  MLS fans know that competing tool company Makita is a long time MLS sponsor, and the suit alleges that DeWalt improperly used MLS logs and materials to "confuse" hispanic fans into believing that DeWalt is a sponsor of the League.

American Soccer: Legal Stories of the Year

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On a few occasions during 2009, we have discussed soccer stories that are legal rather than business related. Because of sponsorships, contracts, television broadcast rights and a whole host of other reasons, the business and law are closely related in the sports world. Here then, are our top American Soccer legal stories of the year.

Posts of the Year: MLS Marketing Interviews

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Over the course of the season we interviewed a number of MLS marketing execs, COOs and more. Check out this interview with Alex Gallegos of Chivas and click through the links to see some of our other chats. Did MLS teams accomplish their marketing goals? Judge for your self.

In a year in which most MLS teams are struggling at the gate, one of the success stories has been Chivas USA.

MLS Stadium Update

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There are stadium updates aplenty as we look around Major League Soccer this week. Here are a couple of quick hits from the world of soccer specific stadium construction.

In Vancouver, the Whitecaps have announced that they will play the first half of their inaugural season in a temporary stadium while BC place (their permanent home) is completed.

Business Team of the Year: Seattle Sounders

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It's the time on the calendar when we take a look back at the year that was. We will have a few of these retrospectives over the next week, but the big story in American Soccer for 2009 was the introduction of the Seattle Sounders to MLS. The crowds kept coming (they grew), the local media coverage remained oustanding, and the Sounders continued to perform on the field.

T-Shirt Winner!!

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Congratulations to Ohad Zeira for winning the T-Shirt graciously provided by Tshirtsville.com

Ohad combined humor and business in providing the winning caption for the photo below. In a few weeks we will run our next contest. Thanks again to Tshirtsville for providing Ohad with a free T-shirt.

Stadium Update: The Winner is Kansas

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We have repeatedly written about the Wizards' effort to find a permanent stadium home. After months of negotiations and competition, the Wizards have announced that they will break ground on their new stadium in Kansas. Kansas and the local county have offered $230 million in incentives to lure Cerner and the Wizards to Kansas.

Win A T-Shirt: Happy Holidays from Footiebusiness to You!

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It's the holiday season, so as a thank you to our readers, we are running our first contest here at Footiebusiness.com (there will be more coming). The good folks at TShirtsville.com have kindly offered the winner of our contest the choice of any of their short-sleeve shirts shipped to their home.

Marketing in America: An Interview with Trevor Bolliger of SoccerPro.com

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As part of our ongoing series looking at marketing soccer products in the United States, we recently had a chat with Trevor Bolliger of SoccerPro.com. Among other titles, Mr. Bolliger is the Online Marketing Ambassador for SoccerPro.com and has been with the company for more than 1.5 years.

More MLS Holiday Promotions

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As we said in our post on Monday, we will continue to look at MLS Holiday promotional efforts this week. Below are some additional promotions. For more, click here.

In Houston, the Dynamo have added a wrinkle to the typical holiday deal by offering two seats to their home opener and one Dynamo "tailgating" chair for $59.

Soccer Business Bits: NASL/USL Fight, ESPN Loves Soccer & More

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We have not actively covered the NASL/USL/TOA dispute over the second division of American Soccer. However, we do believe that it is definitely a subject of significant interest to American Soccer fans. Lower division soccer aids in the development of American players, provides more exposure to the game in communities without MLS teams and provides the backdrop to Open Cup.

MLS Promotions: Holiday Deals

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As we did during the regular season, we will also look at MLS promotional efforts during the Winter. We start with some holiday deals offered around the league.

The Revs are offering a "holiday four pack" that includes tickets to four games (of your choice), first choice of seat location before general sale, a wall calendar and holiday card all for $68.

Digital MLS: How Did They Do?

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The posting has been a bit light this week; there has been a "new arrival" in the family which has changed sleep/work patterns a bit, but we expect to be back on schedule next week. For now, check out this March interview we did with SUM Digital Strategy Director Chris Schlosser about MLS' plans for digital media and online advertising in 2009.

Soccer Business Bits: New BMO, Big TV Ratings & Stadium News

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We're not as against turf fields as many, but there is no doubt that MLS raises its stature and increases its chance of success as a business (by attracting those who are put off by such fields), when it converts to grass. Such is the case in Toronto, where Field Turf is no longer and grass is on the way.

Guest Commentary: WHAT MLS IS DOING RIGHT (AND WHAT IT CAN DO RIGHT NOW) TO GROW ITS POPULARITY AMONG U.S. SOCCER FANS

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We are still traveling, so we thought we would re-visit this excellent guest post from Craig Codlin posted during the season. Craig does a great job looking at MLS efforts to market its product and grow its popularity. We should be back on Wednesday.

All season, we have focused on the efforts of individual teams to convert soccer fans to MLS fans.

Selling the Gear: A Look at Soccer Merchandising

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On the move for the next couple of days, so here is our quick take on a recent article about the sale of soccer merchandise in the United States and around the world. OregonLive presents an interesting article on Adidas marketing efforts for the 2010 World Cup. The article provides in depth analysis on the soccer apparel industry and efforts to sell sporting goods in the current market.

Soccer Business Bits: ESPN Coverage, Revs Respond & More

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The day of the big World Cup draw has arrived and ESPN has big plans to cover the event with maximum fanfare. ESPN2 will provide three hours of coverage and will include usual suspects Harkes, Lalas and more to break down the action. It is fairly remarkable that we have reached the stage in American soccer where the World Cup draw rates a three hour presentation.

Soccer Business Bits: Leiweke Honored, Ching Lends a Hand

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Seattle Sounders CEO Tod Leiweke has been honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal as the Business Executive of the Year. Leiweke was recognized largely for his work in bringing MLS to Seattle and for the explosion of interest in the Sounders and MLS. As the Puget Sound Business Journal is not a sports publication, this represents important mainstream recognition of the Sounders' success.

Atlanta Soccer Stadium Set for Construction

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WPS expansion franchise Atlanta Beat has reached a deal to construct an 8,300 seat stadium in an Atlanta suburb about 25 miles from downtown. The stadium will cost less than $20 million to construct and will host both the Beat and Kennesaw State University Women's soccer team. The stadium is designed to increase to 16k for purposes of concerts and is expected to host NCAA events.