Great picture on and my thoughts..

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Chris_Bailey, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Chris_Bailey

    Chris_Bailey Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Columbus Crew

    Now bear with me, for this is a theory that I have and plan on implementing if an MLS does indeed hire me at any position.

    THESE are the fans we need to market/cater to. I know we've all seen this said time and time again. If this idea is just a rehash of old discourse then feel free to ignore it. I know not everyone agrees with it, but I think it's a resource that the Crew HQ have yet to tap at all. I actually plan on writing some sort of campaign proposal (that I am working on for my mass media advertising class here at school) that will provide a way for an MLS team to market to those in the 20-30 year old age bracket.

    In other words, market to guys like me.

    WE are the ones that show up wiht our bodies painted in 30 degree weather to see the U.S. or Crew play in Crew stadium. WE're the ones who buy the beer, bring the songs, bring the zeal that is needed to support an MLS team.

    WE're the generation that will bear children who will have the league from the start of their lives. WE're the ones who will be putting little Crew balls in their carriage when our kids are infants.

    We need bus advertising, train advertising, TV ads that aren't generic and promote the next game to come specifically. WE're the ones who wolf down 8 hotdogs in a night because we're college-aged and haven't lost our metabolism;)

    In short, I believe around 70% of what MLS teams should try to market towards is the young adult crowd. The time of catering to families is now 8 years strong with so-so results. Why not swing the team image to something a local college kid would want to root for? Nearly every MLS team has a good-sized school just brimming with potential fans....have they been explored well enough yet?

    Need I go on?
  2. Red Star

    Red Star Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Fayetteville, AR
    Just for the record, I hate you guys. And, for the record, your time will come.
  3. cjschlos

    cjschlos Member

    Jan 21, 1999
    New York
    If i was marketing MLS here is what I would do:

    Three segments:

    1) Family and Kids who Play Soccer- MLS in my opinion has not done enough to solidify their relationships with Youth Soccer, these are the kids that play every weekend and MLS needs to make sure that as many of these kids as possible come to games.

    Specific Items I would use to gain attention:
    1)Free Tickets for Kids, Discount tickets for mom and dad
    2)At every large youth soccer tournament in the country (There are hundreds) I would have an MLS Booth with MLS Stuff for sale and discounted tickets...if a tournament happens to be near an MLS stadium then I would arange for the championship games to be played before the MLS game and for all the kids to get a special opportunity to meet a couple players
    3)Video Games, Trading Cards and Tickets..every copy of FIFA sold in the US should come with a discount ticket offer....Trading Cards should be available in every mall in America and also offer discount tickets

    2) Young Males
    Chris you are right on here, this segment is key and often very interested in soccer or at least sports in general.

    Specific Ideas on How to Market:
    1)Promote the Team In Every Bar you can find, give away free tickets, shirts whatever...Create street teams to run all over the city giving away tickets, stuff and building buzz. Have players show up on occasion to these locations to keep the buzz going.

    2) Market Supporters Groups- Yes Supporters groups can help attract new fans, with the support of MLS we should be promoting all of the wild fun and crazy times you can have as a soccer fan. My friends in Boston went out last night looking for the wild celebration...people in this age group are always looking for a good excuse to party.

    3)Public Transit- Chris is spot on on this one, young people live and die by public every upcoming game on and around the buses trains subways whatever you have in your city..or go for broke and wrap an entire buss in MLS stuff...Hummer is doing this around the country right now and its an attention getter.

    4)Market Online- Online advertising is here to stay and is a great way to reach the young adult market. Using targeting you can work with the search companies, the portals, the entertainment sites and finally the sports sites to build awarness...creative is realitivly cheap and can be changed for each game.

    3) Hispanics-Clearly an very very important segment but probably the one i have the least knowledge about.. I would love to hear specific Ideas on how to reach this market.

    There you go three market segments begging for MLS marketing, with new technologies all of this marketing should be measured to ensure that you are placing your buys in the right areas to actually drive folks to the game...any marketing campaign not measuring its success is wasting money today.

    Oh an MLS if you want me on your team just pm me ;)
  4. Northside Rovers

    Jan 28, 2000
    Austin TX
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I absolutely agree with you. But expand that age bracket to 20 - 40, because us mid-30's types are idiots too.

    Marketing to kids and soccer parents is fine. But when parents are dragging their kids to their games and NOT kids dragging parents to the games - that's when MLS takes off.
  5. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 19, 2003
    Island paradise east of the mainland
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You know one of the greatest promotions any new product can do is free t-shirts with team logos on them. Instead of bloody bobblehead dolls you should give out 5,000 t-shirts that will be traveling billboards of sorts when anyone uses one.

    College aged people are great and they should go to the games regardless if beer is present. What kills me about MLS are the horns, the PA talking through the play of the game, and crap music during play. Announce before and after the game and the only time in between is during the halftime break. Killing the game atmosphere is disrespecting the hardcore fans, and the players.

    In time when ever MLS team has its own home with bar/restaurants inside the whole league will be a happier place. I am praying that the arrival of Addidas onto our scene is going to make MLS a better product and most of all respected in the US sporting landscape.
  6. theburden

    theburden Member

    Jul 11, 2002
    MDSC head brewer
    That's fine with me Chris as long as they all have girlfriends that come to the Fire section at away games.
    and no scotch eggs.
    and I'm telling Koluder you were on the internet instead of doing work...
  7. cjschlos

    cjschlos Member

    Jan 21, 1999
    New York
    Marketing takes money plain and simple, you have to build buzz to gain just b/c you give a discount doesn't mean you don't make money...especially for teams that own their own stadiums. In some cases i bet you can make more on a family of four once they are in the stadium then you can on ticket prices.

    Second, outdoor advertising and online advertising are two of the more cost effective methods of traditional advertising out there, much cheaper and in many cases much more effective then Print Ads or TV Ads

    Third..if you really want to reach the young adult market one of the best ways is through guerilla marketing, there is nothing better than a viral campaign where people tell their friends or in our case drag their friends to games...this way people are advertising for you and that is the ultimate goal of all marketing campaigns
  8. Kozy

    Kozy tHE pOPULAR fRONT

    Oct 13, 2004
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    yes,go on........
  9. RedMenace

    RedMenace New Member

    Jun 20, 2004
    Palo Alto, CA
    I totally agree. I don't think they should neglect families, but they'll probably get the most bang for the buck marketing to young(ish) adults, probably mostly males.

    One good component could be student discounts (anyone under 18, which helps the families, as well as the mostly 18-25yo college students), say 50% off. Once people are in the stadium, the team can make money off of concessions (but only if the team's set up to make money off of concessions, which seems to require ownership of the stadium or the equivalent).
  10. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Columbus Crew
    those guys make me laugh. i'm suprised to see them in a picture without a spliff.
  11. Sempuukyaku

    Sempuukyaku Member+

    Apr 30, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think as we start to get more teams into the league, MLS will start to shift their target market towards a little older demographic...I'd say fans between the ages of 15-40.

    A good example of this are teen pop stars. Justin Timberlake and the rest of N'SYNC were huge with the 13-under teen girl crowd. However as they started releasing more albums, their target market got older, so they had to adjust accordingly. Because of how they adjusted to the market, N'SYNC is one of the most successful music groups in history and Justin Timberlake's debut album went like 7-8x platinum.

    MLS eventually must, and will, do the same. Do you really think that Chivas USA will be marketed towards 12 year olds?? LOL
  12. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    I would like to see an MLS player visit the junior and high school training and matches as a rule. All it'd cost is a limo/van/shuttle ride for the player to go up to 50 miles away from his base. All then one would have to do is to BS with the parents, give a few tips to the young'uns, give away a few T-shirts, shake a few hands, take a few pictures (digital camera + portable printer = immediate satisfaction) and the MLS team in question would have another 50+ life-long fans among the kids and the parents. Multiply this by countless opportunities to do so and this is how you build up the grass-root support.

    And so what if this borrows from the political arena. It works.
  13. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You can't market to one crowd. But this is a crowd that needs attention - shuttles, events at colleges, etc.

    Instead of sending three players to youth clubs who bought group tickets, send two and let the other guy speak at a local college or take part in a ticket giveaway or contest to win tickets.
  14. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They do a lot of this with youth teams who buy ticket packages. I believe that is part of the deal. But they need to do it without the tickets attached. That I agree with.
  15. PaulGascoigne

    PaulGascoigne Member

    Feb 5, 2001
  16. greenbill

    greenbill New Member

    Apr 30, 2003
    York, PA
    This is a topic that I feel is so important to MLS's future and that they need to address...ASAP. I see the youth soccer crowd as a "low return on investment group". In other words, the money MLS spends on marketing to youth clubs doesn't result in long term guaranteed cash flow. The reason that I started to become interested in soccer was because I realized:
    a) Contrary to what most Americans think, it actually IS a contact sport.
    b) The game can be rough and purely physical at times, but it also has an element of skill and finesse that some other sports lack.
    c) The fan culture surrounding the game (in Europe and S.A.) is crazy, intense, colorful, loud, drunken, ...insane. Unlike anything I had ever seen in America.

    These three things (c probably being the most important) made an impression on me that was PERMANENT. And this all happened when I was around 14 because that was the age when I started caring about this stuff, not when I was younger. The way that I was exposed to the game, I saw it as a MAN's game. I can't explain why I was so attracted to the game and not the other kids that I grew up with playing soccer with (and still play with). Maybe I just happened to catch a particular game on TV, or saw a special goal that lit the spark...I don't know.

Share This Page