Footiebusiness Archives for January 2010

Soccer Business Bits: Red Bulls Business, SBJ Poll & More

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According to a recent piece in the NY Post, the business side of the New York Red Bulls experienced a fantastic 2010. Jersey sales jumped more than 100% (year over year), putting the team second in MLS in such sales. The team is also looking for a new television deal following the expiration of its arrangement with MSG.

The World Cup Bid- A Business Boon to MLS?

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The date for FIFA's announcement of the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is just around the corner. While the economic value of a successful bid to the US and individual cities can be debated, there have been a number of stories addressing the potential business impact to MLS. Competition between cities to host World Cup matches could lead to significant efforts to curry favor with MLS and SUM.

Bringing the Fans to MLS: Fans Maturing?

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We have repeatedly posted about the internal tension in MLS when chasing fans and selling tickets. In its early years, the league targeted families and some ethnic communities. Through our interviews with league and team officials, it has become clear that most franchises have aggressively shifted their sales efforts to grabbing "hard core" soccer fans that elevate the in stadium experience and become loyal followers of the teams.

Happy Thanksgiving & A Call to Guest Bloggers

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After a hectic day in MLS on Wednesday, it is time to take a breath and enjoy the Thanksgiving Weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers and thank you for reading!

Every so often, we get inquiries from some of you about opportunities to post on Footiebusiness about soccer business issues.

Soccer Business Bits: TV Ratings, MLS Awards & More

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One of the big business stories to come out in the last couple of days was the disappointing ratings of the MLS Cup Final. According to multiple reports, the match suffered a 44% decline in its overnight rating. The significant decline can be attributed to a number of factors including the lack of stars, competition from the NFL and a lack of recognizable teams.

Some Final Business Thoughts on Toronto

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The coldest MLS Cup Final in league history is complete and Toronto was certainly a big part of the story from last night. There were discussions about the weather, the fan protest and the field conditions. For a few days, Toronto was the center of the MLS universe, with sponsors, fans, media and league personnel descending on the City.

Business Blogging: The MLS Cup Final

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As we do for an number of big soccer events, here is a business blog of the MLS Cup 2010. The match was broadcast on ESPN with Ian Darke making his MLS debut. In the 30 minutes leading up to the game, ESPN provided two promos to its Sports Center and BCS viewers. One of the promos included Darke's first MLS moment.

Soccer Business Bits: WPS Moves On, MLS Cup Hits Toronto & More

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After another period of uncertainty and confusion, it appears that WPS is ready for its third season of action. According to the league's most recent press release, the league will consist of six teams in 2011. Included in that six team grouping is Western New York, an expansion team that will have full access to the league's list of unprotected players.

Welcome to the Party Kansas City?

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The big business story in American soccer today was the long awaited re-branding of the team formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards. With more than 1000 fans in attendance, the Wizards unveiled their new identity, uniforms crest and colors. The Wizards will now be known as Sporting Kansas City.

Covering the Coverage

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The MLS Cup Final is set, with Colorado and FC Dallas making the trip to Toronto. With both teams typically receiving limited coverage in their media markets, we thought it worth taking a look at the coverage of the teams in the local papers. Before we do, we wanted note the double shot of MLS coverage in the most recent Sports Illustrated.

The Commish Speaks: State of the League

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Every once and a while, our business coverage dovetails with more traditional coverage of MLS. Today is one of those days. Commissioner Garber gave his annual State of League address and highlighted some important business changes. We thought we would address some of these here.

The address started with the Commissioner noting the importance of the league presenting a new champion in 2010.

The Monday After

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An exciting weekend of games in the MLS Conference Finals. We'll start in Colorado, where the Rapids turned out a big attendance number despite limited mainstream marketing and a lack of promotional offerings. With temperatures falling under 30 degrees, more almost 18k fans braved the weather at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Guest Post: Seattle a Model Franchise?

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Drew Williams is a Junior at Maryville University in St. Louis.  As part of his Sports Business Management major, Drew has been following Footiebusiness for a class project. As part of that project, he prepared a blog piece about the Seattle Sounders. His post is below. Drew is also on the Maryville soccer team.

Soccer Business Bits: MLS Re-Entry Drafts; Whitecaps Tickets & More

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Over the last couple of days, multiple outlets have reported on the emerging details of Major League Soccer's inagural re-entry drafts. MLS' official website has produced its own press release on the new procedure and identified December 8 and December 15 as the two draft dates. The new drafts provide players two opportunties to be selected by MLS teams at defined salary levels and/or for purposes of exclusive negotiation rights.

More Thoughts on Rapids Ticket Sales

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Yesterday we wrote about the Rapids' efforts to sell tickets for their upcoming playoff game. Since that post, we have received feedback from a number of readers about the lack of aggressive marketing in the Denver area in advance of the Saturday match. As many of our readers know, we have had ongoing series of interviews with MLS marketers and their efforts to sell their teams and the league.

Selling Playoff Tickets in Colorado

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With Colorado's upset victory over Columbus, the Rapids have one week to sell tickets to the "Eastern" Conference Final. After selling more than 11k tickets in their playoff opener with less than five days notice, the Rapids face the challenge of again selling tickets on a short turn around. Interestingly, the team is not aggressively pushing any promotional offerings in advance of the game, but through their website, there are two deals being offered to attract fans.

The Monday After

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Another exciting weekend of playoff action in Major League Soccer. While some soccer fans rail against the injustice of lower seeded teams advancing, there is little debate that the matches have been exciting. Playoffs are an American sports staple, and upsets are ingrained in the American sports culture.

Soccer Business Bits: Galaxy Down Under, ESPN’s New Talent & More

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In a reprise of Beckham's first season in MLS, the Galaxy have scheduled an offseason tour to Australia as a way to promote the brand overseas. The Galaxy's match with Newcastle United Jets FC will be sponsored by Australian airline Qantas. The sponsorship is reportedly worth $300,000. The match will be televised in the United States and the Galaxy will fly home free in business class.

Covering the Media

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As we have on occassion, we thought it worth taking a look at how the mainstream media is covering soccer in the United States. We'll start with Sports Illustrated, where last week's edition of the magazine carried a story about Thierry Henry's impact on the Red Bulls and MLS. The story focuses on his transition to life in the Big Apple and Henry echoes the sentiment of a number of previous imports about the value of relative aynonymity.

Soccer Business Bits: MLS Sells Seats, Broadcast News & More

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In May we wrote the following: "Major League Soccer announced the formation of the MLS National Sales Center to assist MLS teams with ticket sales and staffing. The Center will offer a 45 day program that will graduate ticket sales professionals to employment with individual MLS teams. The students will have the opportunity to craft sales strategies and get real life sales experience.

Trouble in WPS?

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It has been a roller coaster ride during the first two years of the most recent incarnation of Womens professional soccer in the United States. There have been significant "ups" like the signing of Marta, the building of a new stadium in Georgia and the significant partnership contributions from Puma, Amway and others.