Garber: MLS has a Harvard Business School plan for MLS to be 1 of the top soccer leagues by 2022

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by patricksp, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    Wow another one I've been saying.
    MLS sounds so American and MLB ripoff.
    We need more footballlike serious name. Something like APL = American Primier League.


  2. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

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    Yeah, I know dude. You agree with pretty much all the sarcastic posts on bigsoccer. We all got that a long time ago.
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  3. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    If you know me, then you should know I'm seriuos. I hate the name MLS.
    Besides mls.com = FAIL.
  4. GVPATS77

    GVPATS77 Member+

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    Who gives a shit?

    Unbunch your panties. Seriously.

    I never once said you were making things up. Just questioned the timeline, since you implied that a failure to live up to the hopes of an ESPN executive with regards to MLS TV ratings was some sort of evidence that Garber's 10 year plan was a fantasy.

    You were extremely dismissive of the 10 year plan Garber mentioned, as were others. I responded that based on what we've seen in the last 10 years, I'm not ready to pass judgement.

    You respond to that by posting the TV ratings as some sort of anecdotal evidence that the MLS vision for the next 10 years is impossible.


  5. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    People who want to sound intelligent?

    Ymmv is appears.
  6. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    " My guess is he didn't and you put your own time frame on it to declare the statement a failure."

    Certainly sounds like you said it.
  7. GVPATS77

    GVPATS77 Member+

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    Intelligent people knew who I was talking about. So its a wash.

    If someone misspells Freddy Adu as Freddie Adu, does that make their point any less valid?

    Nope.

    Again. Your panties are in a wad. You should get that checked out.
  8. GVPATS77

    GVPATS77 Member+

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    Well, the fact that the end date hasn't been reached and you've already declared failure would tend to suggest that you actually did put your own time frame on it.

    And you completely dismiss DVR numbers based on assumption, so that really doesn't help your cause.

    You clearly follow TV ratings very closely, but you also very clearly have strong opinions that despite unimaginable growth in every single other aspect of the league, that TV ratings somehow bolster your belief that a 10 year plan is impossible.

    I don't buy it.
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  9. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    I think it is pretty clear from this thread that even you did not know what you were talking about. :) I get the feeling this is the first time you have ever heard John Skippers name.

    We have screwed up this thread well enough by now.

    In all seriousness if you do find the DVR data that you are certain moves the needle, please post it in the ratings thread. It would be of great interest to many.
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  10. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Please stop making things up. I said "would likely fail".
    http://www.bigsoccer.com/community/...-leagues-by-2022.1978927/page-5#post-26851146

    I have no idea if the ratings will reach a 1 million households in 2 years but knowing where they are today, it is not that strong a prediction to make.
  11. GVPATS77

    GVPATS77 Member+

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    With regards to what?

    Just because I don't think that a 10 year plan is impossible doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm talking about.

    And from what I can tell, the entire basis for your belief as to why the 1o year plan is impossible is based on TV ratings.

    No. I knew the name. Skipper, Skinner, tomato, potato. Really not that important to me, as based on the league's growth, improved TV contracts and better network partners, the actual ratings numbers apparently don't really matter all that much right now.

    According to your research, ratings haven't really improved at all in the last decade, yet the league has gone from paying ESPN to televise their games to negotiating several multi-million dollar TV contracts in that same time frame.

    I never said I was certain it would move the needle. Simply inquired if the numbers were included. You were the one you dismissed them outright based on nothing at all other than assumption.
  12. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Now back to the actual topic (sorry about the tangent).

    Garber offered to Wahl to maybe let him see the plan. Hopefully Grant takes him up on that offer and be able to share some of the details.

    That would be fun to dissect and debate.
  13. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Do Championship level teams really have 39 man rosters or does that include some reserved and upper level academy type players? I thought there was an actual roster limit in England but I may be confusing that with another country.
  14. pdxsoccerfan

    pdxsoccerfan Member

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    Wages in the Championship are unlikely to decrease. There have been recessions before, but wages of professional soccer players have steadily increased even when the economy is doing poorly. The revenue of the EPL is also increasing at a very fast pace due to international tv rights.
  15. PhillyMLS

    PhillyMLS Member+

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    Just so you guys don't think it is just Garber blowing smoke up our collective asses, it seems that at least two of the owners believe in what he is saying. The following is from an ESPN article on MLS ownership.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/relegationzone/id/559?cc=5901
  16. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    Heineman also believes the goal is possible. "Our business plan will allow us to be one of the world's four or five best leagues within the course of the next eight years.

    Yes, it's an interesting quote PhillyMLS. Still, the plan has been adopted by the Board of Goveners, so it isn't all that surprising that the I/Os believe it. They even had a press conference to announce it in 2011 which Michael Lewis reported in this fine article:

    http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/ussoccerplayers/2011/08/mls-has-a-bold-2022-vision.html

    But ask yourself, really, does it make any sense at all?

    Do you really think Heineman's right that in eight years time -- hey, at least I was willing to give 'em nine years -- that MLS will be considered on par with the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga?

    It's silly.

    And for a league that has achieved so much because it has been so focused and so pragmatic on so many things -- expansion, the calander, the smaller SSS, the salary budget -- saying silling things is entirely out of character. But now we have Garber saying to Grant Wahl, "we said let's be men about this and have the same goal, and then we doubled down." Really, what are they drinking?

    Even though they have manned up and doubled down, don't expect them to spend a lot of money though. When MLS rolled out the new goal in 2011, Todd Durbin defined what it meant for MLS to be one of the top league in the world this way:

    "That means from top to bottom in the organization that we are among the best in the world. In some areas that's going to be an easier lift than others. We're well on our way with regards to facilities. There’s no reason why we can't achieve that in regard to the infrastructure we have in place - with the knowledge that we have in place, With regards to actual players in the field, we're still a bit back with the top leagues in terms of expenditures. We have to find ways that may not be simple as a straight line in terms of dollar spent."

    Whew. For a minute there I thought they would spend a lot of money on better players.
  17. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    To illustrate a broader phenomenon than just a single chant.

    Oh, and on topic of other numbers. I can watch ESPN straight from my mobile device. It may not be many tens of thousands for an MLS match, but viewing options are multiplying.
  18. carnifex2005

    carnifex2005 Member+

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    According to this site, to be a top five league in the world, MLS would have to have at least 1.3 billion in revenue per year but to get to a top 10 league in the world, they'd need about $500 million in revenue per year. That could be possible in a decade (depending on how fast those other leagues grow).
  19. Spursfan1

    Spursfan1 Member+

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    How much revenue does mls have right now? 350m? 400m?
  20. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

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    Who knows whether mls can be a top league in ten years. But I like the thought that mls has an aggressive plan. Mls is bound to grow by leaps and bounds during this time because of the plan, despite whether they ultimately meet the goal. I am looking forward to it. It can't do anything but help mls.

    It's like Project 2010, US soccers goal to win the WC by 2010. Didn't happen, and I don't think,anyone really thought it would happen, but the quality of the team and players has grown tremendously in that time. I am convinced the stature of the US tea grew more in that time than they would have without the goal and plan associated with it. I often lament that the current administration does not have any publicly stated goals.
    But mls' goal, I think, could actually be achieved by 2022.
  21. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Does it matter (all that much) if the BoG will be accurate in their goal-setting?

    Isn't the simpler and better point that MLS is setting some goals (some of them "realistic" and some of them perhaps a bit too "stretched") and working toward them?

    It absolutely makes a ton of sense for the league to collectively set and work toward some future defined (if vaguely so publically) business and operational goals and targets.
  22. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Agreed with this.

    But was the goal of Project 2010 to actually "win" the World Cup, or was it the broader and more vague target of being competitive and having a realistic chance to more evenly compete for (and perhaps win) the World Cup?

    The same vague notion applies here. We don't know the precise details and target of the plan (afaik). But we do know that MLS (like US Soccer before it) has set some benchmark for improvement and will be working (hopefully successfully) toward it.

    If the "consolation prize" or achievement toward the end of this goal-cycle (as defined by MLS) is comparable to the US finishing second at the 2009 Confederations Cup (and/or topping their group at WC2010), I'm guessing the MLS BoG (and the league's fans) will be happy with that improvement and new reality in about a decade.
  23. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

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    Yes you are correct, according to www.wikipedia.org/wiki/project_2010.

    The goal was to be competitive by 2010. Somehow, it got shortened ( at least in my mind and in some other circles, iirc) to "win" by 2010.

    No doubt this mls goal will be remembered as "become the best league in the world by 2022"!
    tab5g repped this.
  24. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    Good stuff.

    But let's be clear, the BofG isn't talking about being one of the top 10 leagues in the world.

    We're talking top four or five.

    The quotes from Heineman and Paulson in the article PhillyMLS was referring to are not ambiguous:

    Heineman: "Our business plan will allow us to be one of the world's four or five best leagues within the course of the next eight years."

    Paulson: ". . .getting the talent up to being the best league in the Western Hemisphere is a near-term priority."

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/relegationzone/id/559?cc=5901

    That's their ambition.

    So, let's not recast the goal and try and make it more realistic. They're not. If the goal is meaningful, let's take them at their word:

    MLS wants to be the best league in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the best "four or five" leagues in the world -- meaning the European big boys -- by 2022.

    And if MLS is "working backwards from that vision," as Nelson Rodriguez said in 2011, you're right that we know the big boy club MLS wants to join has certain economic realities -- it takes a lot of money. Now, because wages in Europe are very high and have escalated rapidly, perhaps MLS can do it for less, but it will still take a lot more money -- revenue and wages -- than MLS currently has or is spending.

    Let's see what concrete measures MLS will take to do this.
  25. Baysider

    Baysider Member

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    I have this weird feeling that what they mean is that they are the "best run" league, in the sense of using the best modern business practices and having sophisticated accountants and lawyers. From a fan's point of view, the players are everything, but from the league's point of view, they're just one division of 400 employees.

    Now, that's a bit unfair. You control what you can. Soccer isn't going to be the top sport in the United States, but given that, you try to run the league efficiently.

    I think you can see that in the sentence about facilities. Which is a better stadium, Old Trafford or the Home Depot Center? Most people would say Old Trafford because it's bigger. But size aside (and we can't do much about the popularity of soccer) the HDC is newer, probably has nicer locker rooms and is less in need of repair. Size aside, we are one of the top leagues in terms of facilities.
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