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Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by JeffKuntz, Jan 5, 2012.
Jeff, you're stealing my thunder
Hey, Jeff, is anyone going to try hockey again in Dayton? Been a struggle, to say the least, huh?
Ken, be serious.
The Dayton Gems JUST folded after realizing that Hara Arena has no corporate hospitality opportunities and that the Dayton market didn't support the ECHL's Dayton Bombers, nor did they support the Gems.
It would be a terrible idea to put another pro team in Dayton, and especially at Hara again.
So, yes, of course - someone is going to try pro hockey again in Dayton. Say hello to the Dayton Devils of the Federal Hockey League! ... known for all of its teams finishing their 2011-12 season with a different number of games played, and some teams relocating in the middle of the season.
The Devils have no phone number, nor are they attempting to sell anything as yet. Fortunately though, that group is not satisfied with having just one team at Hara.. oh, no.. the same people are also placing a junior team at the same arena named the Dayton Aeros.
Obviously there is nothing that could possibly go wrong with this situation.
Random question. What's the difference in pay between the USL PDL & USL Pro?
Only one of them gets paid.
From a percentage standpoint the difference is infinite because PDL players generally aren't paid.
From a pure revenue standpoint the difference isn't really that much, because USL Pro players aren't paid very well..
If a player is truly good enough to be paid a livable wage to play the sport of soccer they probably won't be in the USL..
Wait, you live in a city with a PDL team and you don't know this?
While that's true in most cases, there are certainly exceptions in both leagues. I believe there are a few PDL teams that are pro or something transitional, like Vancouver Whitecaps U23s, so there are a few cases where some of the PDL players get paid. I have no information on how much they get paid, though.
And, of course, at the USLPRO level you have teams like Orlando City which almost certainly are paying a living wage to play soccer. Same in Rochester, Charlotte, Wilmington, and Richmond, I think. But in many of those cases their playing wages are being supplemented by coaching wages.
Those caveats aside, in general it's true. PDL is mostly a summer league for college students. USLPRO is mostly a 'barely getting by' paid league.
There are some "PDL Pro" teams, and I believe Kitsap is one, but don't quote me. It's not something that's widely publicized.
Definitely. In fact, in 2011 they still had guys on legacy D2 contracts from Austin. But I'm guessing their payroll is still one of the highest in the league.
Way wrong on Charlotte.
Charlotte ? I think you meant Charleston
Yeah. I meant Charleston.
Just a quick question, other than the Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, and Richmond Kickers, how many professional teams in USL are still operating since the 1990's and earlier?
The Wilmington Hammerheads have been around since 1996 (with one year off in 2010.)
Pittsburgh began play in 1999 (took 2007 off).
You've been around here too long not to have figured that out by now.
Just becasue someone has been around for awahile doesn't mean they know everything about everything. Remember what they say about assuming. Either answer the guys question or don't respond. It's not like the guy brought up pro / rel or something else that has been beat to death. Try to be that guy that is provides something towards the thread.
You're obviously unfamiliar with his body of work.
Let's see if we can get back on topic. So at the USL Pro level, the vast majority of revenue comes from 3 areas; tickets, sponsorship and camps. But most of the clubs really don't have the staffs to do the first two effectively. I wonder if there is an expectation on how many tickets a good ticket rep should be able to sell?
A good ticket rep can do a lot of things, but there needs to be a market for the team. With they way the Blues are right now, there might be a chance they won't be back for 2013, and that will really hurt the new team in Phoenix.
Like anything else, there's a revenue expectation, not necessarily a number of tickets.
And, yes, those are certainly three main areas. But it's hard to get the second one without the first one, and the camp market is pretty saturated - lots of people do soccer camps. It's not easy to start camps and get market share, even if you're a pro team.
My belief is that if you can successfully do "group sales" of soccer tickets working for a USL Pro team, you can sell anything. Most of the teams have so little buzz in the community that it makes group sales extremely difficult.
USL Pro teams hurt themselves in a couple of ways:
1) Some don't even have a ticketing department, and nearly all teams don't have a big enough ticketing department
2) The ones who do have people selling tickets have hired whomever they could find for cheap, then invested nothing in to training or developing these people.
3) The teams ownership honestly believes the general public wants their tickets. They genuinely don't understand that most people don't care about their team. At all.
4) Some teams do not work year round selling. They think sales work needs to begin X number of weeks before the season starts, and end when the season ends.
5) Because of the above factors, there is too much turnover (both because people are let go or they quit) that hurts a team's ability to gain any kind of momentum.
6) Ticket reps only ever call people to sell them stuff.. it goes back to #2.. there's more to sales than commissions and quotas..
The Force is strong with this one.
(Groups can be done at the DIII level, but, yeah, it's not easy. You hit the usual, starting with soccer groups, church groups. any group of people that have numbers and might be cajoled into a night out. But it's really hard with soccer, and harder with DIII soccer.)
Well the teams don't help themselves either.. marketing and sports marketing are very different..
Church groups? Make one of your home games "Faith and Family Night", with a number of different pre-game and in-game elements that would appeal to churches, and go hard selling all the churches on that night.
Find a child in the community who has medical issues that could use a boost in morale, and whose family could use a healthy donation and have one of your home games be "Pack The House For Nick Smith Night".. (making it about one specific child rather than a charitable cause generally does better for whatever reason)
I could go on and on but the point I'm making is that the team needs to structure its offerings in such a way that it helps out their ticketing department.. and few do that well enough..