According to a recent piece in the NY Post, the business side of the New York Red Bulls
experienced a fantastic 2010.Â Jersey sales jumped more than 100% (year over year), putting the
team second in MLS in such sales.Â The team is also looking for a new television deal following
the expiration of its arrangement with MSG.
The date for FIFA's announcement of the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is just
around the corner.Â 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.Â Competition between cities to host World Cup matches could lead to significant efforts to
curry favor with MLS and SUM.
We have repeatedly posted about the internal tension in MLS when chasing fans and selling
tickets.Â In its early years, the league targeted families and some ethnic communities.Â 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.
One of the big business stories to come out in the last couple of days was the disappointing
ratings of the MLS Cup Final.Â According to multiple reports, the match suffered a 44% decline in
its overnight rating.Â 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.
The coldest MLS Cup Final in league history is complete and Toronto was certainly a big part of
the story from last night.Â There were discussions about the weather, the fan protest and the
field conditions.Â For a few days, Toronto was the center of the MLS universe, with sponsors,
fans, media and league personnel descending on the City.
As we do for an number of big soccer events, here is a business blog of the MLS Cup 2010.Â The
match was broadcast on ESPN with Ian Darke making his MLS debut.Â In the 30 minutes leading up to
the game, ESPN provided two promos to its Sports Center and BCS viewers.Â One of the promos
included Darke's first MLS moment.
After another period of uncertainty and confusion, it appears that WPS is ready for its third
season of action.Â According to the league's most recent press release, the league will consist of
six teams in 2011.Â Included in that six team grouping is Western New York, an expansion team that
will have full access to the league's list ofÂ unprotected players.
The big business story in American soccer today was the long awaited re-branding of the team
formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards.Â With more than 1000 fans in attendance, the Wizards
unveiled their new identity, uniforms crest and colors.Â The Wizards will now be known as Sporting
The MLS Cup Final is set, with Colorado and FC Dallas making the trip to Toronto.Â 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.Â Before we do, we wanted note the double
shot of MLS coverage in the most recent Sports Illustrated.
Every once and a while, our business coverage dovetails with more traditional coverage of MLS.Â
Today is one of those days.Â Commissioner Garber gave his annual State of League address and
highlighted some important business changes.Â 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.
An exciting weekend of games in the MLS Conference Finals.Â We'll start in Colorado, where the
Rapids turned out a big attendance number despite limited mainstream marketing and a lack of
promotional offerings.Â With temperatures falling under 30 degrees, more almost 18k fans braved
the weather at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Drew Williams is a Junior at Maryville University in St. Louis.Â Â As part of his Sports
Business Management major, Drew has been following Footiebusiness for a class project.Â As part of
that project, he prepared a blog piece about the Seattle Sounders.Â His post is below.Â Drew is
also on the Maryville soccer team.
Over the last couple of days, multiple outlets have reported on the emerging details of Major
League Soccer's inagural re-entry drafts.Â 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.
Yesterday we wrote about the Rapids' efforts to sell tickets for their upcoming playoff game.Â
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.Â As many of our readers know, we
have had ongoing series of interviews with MLS marketers and their efforts to sell their teams and
With Colorado's upset victory over Columbus, the Rapids have one week to sell tickets to the
"Eastern" Conference Final.Â 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.Â 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.
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.Â Playoffs are an American sports staple, and upsets are ingrained in the American
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.Â The Galaxy's match with Newcastle United Jets
FC will be sponsored by Australian airline Qantas.Â The sponsorship is reportedly worth $300,000.Â
The match will be televised in the United States and the Galaxy will fly home free in business
As we have on occassion, we thought it worth taking a look at how the mainstream media is
covering soccer in the United States.Â 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.Â
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.
In May we wrote the following:Â "Major League Soccer announced the formation of the MLS
National Sales Center to assist MLS teams with ticket sales and staffing.Â The Center will offer a
45 day program that will graduate ticket sales professionals to employment with individual MLS
teams.Â The students will have the opportunity to craft sales strategies and get real life sales
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.Â 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.