Latest WUSA2 Spec

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by Bora Fan, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Bora Fan

    Bora Fan Member

    Dec 14, 1998
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok so everyone is saying that there is a "good chance" WUSA will be back playing what looks to be a shortened pre Olympics season.

    How would this work?

    USSF at one point has apparently committed $1.8 million to the league. That's probably what they would have spent anyway on the NT training camps/schedule that would be necessary to get a team together for the Olympics.

    Not sure what kind of corporate support will actually materialize. We're in Q3 and heading into Q4 when companies will want to hit their plan numbers. Taking on additional marketing expenses that weren't part of the plan would not be a smart move for companies that are public.

    Also, if WUSA couldn't get enough corporate support in their old structure with PAX games and cable support - what kind of support is realistic if WUSA2 doesn't have a tv deal and consists of teams barnstorming around the country tournament style?

    The overall eyeballs will be fewer - both from a TV and actual attendance point of view as they will play fewer games.

    Finally, how is WUSA going to market the new league - given that everyone and their mother think now that the WUSA is dead? They got more publicity surrounding that event than even the launch so most people who know anything about WUSA know it's dead.

    Getting the message to those fans is going to be difficult - especially on a shoe string budget.
  2. Jambon

    Jambon Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Who is "everyone?"
  3. da_cfo

    da_cfo New Member

    Apr 19, 2003
    San Francisco CA
    WUSA is done as a league. Finished. Kaput.

    There is no momentum left.

    What little sponsor interest there was is now gone because USWNT are no longer "champions".

    Also, WUSA management has little credibility and an awful track record with regards to delivering what they promised (i.e. 30% of the promised ratings in year one.)

    I can't see another attempt at a women's pro league in the US until after the 2011-2012 cycle.
  4. wellington

    wellington Member

    Jun 4, 1999
    Charlotte, NC
    Nat'l Team:
    I'm still not sure why WUSA announced their demise before the start of the WWC...

    Even people who I talk to who no every little about soccer seem to know that women's pro soccer is dead...
  5. CUS

    CUS New Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    Step 1. Change the name. The brand WUSA is already identified with failure.
  6. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Is the pledged money from the Federation or the Foundation? The USSF (Fed) runs the various national teams and is the governing body for soccer in the US. I'm unaware of any money that they have ever pledged to the WUSA.

    The US Soccer Foundation is a charitable organization that supports all sorts of wonder things like inner city soccer, field development, and even funded a couple of roster spots in the WUSA in 2002 with a monetary grant. They've been the uniform sponsor of the KC Wizards since 2000.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the US Soccer Foundation has pledged money, but I would be mildly surprised if US Soccer (USSF) had. But then, all bets are off.
  7. galperin

    galperin Member

    Feb 1, 2001
    Maineville, OH
    I still think the best thing to do is for MLS to begin WMLS. Put womens teams in where existing MLS teams are. Share stadiums. Play double-headers. Hell, play double-headers eah and every week.

    Example: DC United and a team i'll call DCU-W for now, share RFK, and then hopefully, share a new stadium when it is built. They could share everything. From operating costs, advertising, public appearances, team staff, travel costs, etc. etc. When DCU goes to NY to play Metros, DCU-W go and play the Metros-W, and so on and so forth.

    If each MLS club had a women's side, organizing things would be a piece of cake. It would combine the fan interests' of men's and women's sides. Attendance would increase slightly.

    Just my idea. Am I onto something, or way off?
  8. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    You're slightly off. Sharing staff/facilities can really reduce the overhead of operations, but I wouldn't attach to MLS the league. Individual markets and teams, however could work well together. Namely LA, Columbus, and soon Dallas. Anywhere MLS plays in its own SSS stadium is a great candidate. Beyond that there's a growing collection of perfectly sized A League facilities like Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC. A WUSA2 team there would be a great compliment to the Battery. I hear there's virtually no hope of the Beat and Silverbacks working together in Atlanta, but I would prefer to see the Beat survive. Likewise the Courage have probably the best financial model in the old WUSA. I'm sure SAS would have no trouble keeping them going as an independent team.

    Rather than tying in at the league level, I think team to team, market to market synergies should be explored.
  9. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Jeff Bradley offered the same concept, and so did I a while back. I went a bit further suggestion 2 divisions of MLS: men's and women's.

    Results would be posted as MLS Men etc., MLS Women etc. That way the women needn't be seen as an auxillary or 2nd class operation.

    The only reason I see for not doing this would be the strain on MLS resources. We are doing well, building stadiums, expanding 'ownership' and the fan base. If a women's division can be added, so much the better.

    I would think the WUSA players are now out of contract. If MLS started the division and offered contracts to the players, they'd jump for it.

    Perhaps not Foudy or Chastain, but who would want them? We are a long way from the day when the WNT players as a block refused to be a part of any league but WUSA.
  10. Rickster

    Rickster Member

    Dec 1, 1998
    If it has extra dollars to play with, I would rather my hypothetical Philly MLS team pay its players better and have a decent reserve and developmental side, rather than a woman's team.
  11. rcleopard

    rcleopard New Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    I'd wager marketing. The three premises of Marketing is "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them." The idea initially was more than likely to generate interest in womens soccer. Publicity. Even if it was bad news, it still got all the media play, even in mainstream media, and there was little to no operating costs of getting that publicity out.

    Phase two would have been the "Win the World Cup" phase. After that, probably what would have occurred was a rehashing. "Hey, look, these women put on a hell of a tournament and won it, and it was competitive and fierce" Or a "Look what the WUSA produced! Isn't that awesome!? How could you let a league that produces such talent die! We can give you that talent week in and week out!" Again.. this would all be free publicity that would take forms of player interviews.

    Phase three would probably have been to deliver on some of that talent. Maybe an "USA WNT vs WUSA All Stars" or something.. just to show that the talent of the WUSA is (probably) equivellant to the talent of the USWNT. Then they'd say that this was world class women's soccer here.

    The logic about when they shut down probably was either that option, or the reality that if they shut down operations after the WWC, they'd overshadow the US's win.

    It's much better to do it the way they did.. control spin, don't distract too heavily from the WWC, then remind people you were the league where all the talent was... much better than the pomp and circumstance of the WWC followed shortly by having the only pro league in the world close for women. That'd sorta burst some balloons in a victory parade.

  12. PSU92

    PSU92 Member

    Feb 27, 1999
    Annandale VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That was my first thought as well.

    The question is would there be enough of an attendance boost to offset the additional salaries & travel costs.
  13. bright

    bright Member

    Dec 28, 2000
    Central District
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Chicas Chivas USA?

    - Paul
  14. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is the ideal situation I think. Avoid at all costs a WNBA situation, at least in perception. I think you would get most of the WUSA players, seeing how it's a choice between this or nothing. Foudy or Chastain are irrelevant, as long as you get Mia Hamm (even if for only a season) and Heather Mitts (since she's doing the WWC halftime shows) you should be ok. Or at least "ok" enough to see if this thing can work.

    As Andy said, a combination of affiliations with MLS teams (those with stadium control) and A-League sides (plus places like Carolina) could work. At least with reasonable expectations and a realistic budget.

    The hypothetical Philly MLS side spending more on development than a women's team is a fair point. However, you can get some paying customers for a women's game, I don't think you can for a "reserve" game. You also get more toward the club model by having multiple teams, and that's good PR methinks.

    And the MetroStars play in East Rutherford, NJ, the home of champions, not in New York. But that's another topic.
  15. roarksown1

    roarksown1 Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Hamburger SV
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're completely off. MLS is working towards profitability and doing so at its own pace. It hasn't been a glorious rise, but instead a slow, tedious process that has only recently begun to show an upside. There is not a single reason for a league in its position, which is unsteady at best, to associate itself with women's football. No single women's team sports league has ever prospered, anywhere, and MLS can't afford to risk the association with a failing enterprise like the WUSA, or whatever other new name they want to call it. MLS should stay well clear of any new proposals involving women's soccer - can you say Dodo Bird?
  16. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    San Diego Rams.

    San Diego Ewes.

    (Yeah, I know. Goats, not sheep. But would you rather have them, or Billy Goats and Nanny Goats?)
  17. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    Or, Battlin' Billies and Knockin' Nannies?

    (oops, "knockin' boots" reference)
  18. okcomputer

    okcomputer Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Great post. This is exactly why the MLS should stay clear of this whole situation. For one simple reason: its bad business. Why take on a risky venture when your own business is still a work in progress. While I would like to see a womens league work, I don't see why MLS would want any part of this. MLS is slowly making progress and the last thing it needs is a merger that will have it take on more debt with a business that will take years before there is any sign of profitability. They should concentrate their resources on further developing their own business.
  19. Awe-Inspiring

    Awe-Inspiring New Member

    Jan 18, 2000
    Uphill Climb

    Let's face it. The league gambled the one card it had, that a USA victory would re-ignite interest in the league.

    I can't fault the last gasp, but with the USA loss, the light appears extinguished.

    As of now.

    In a couple of weeks, I might figure out another way for them to approach rebirth, but I'm stumped now.

    And I wouldn't expect the MLS to volunteer a pairing, for several of the reasons y'all listed above.
  20. Spartacus

    Spartacus Member

    May 20, 2001
    The NO SOCCER Zone
    If the demise of ABL is any barometer, the players will go along because what other choice do they have but to hang 'em up. Even the most vocal "founding players" in ABL eventually went to WNBA (there was one notable exception whose name escapes me now).

    The question is, at their "advanced" ages, how many of the "founding" players want to continue their competitive playing careers if a new or re-formulated league was put forward?
  21. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    Teresa Edwards. Eventually, she joined the Minnesota Lynx in 2003. Girlfriend still gots game.
  22. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One proposal being floated calls for 8 teams in two divisions. Ten games total (2 each against teams in your division, one each against all 4 teams in the other division). Matches begin mid April through July. Finished well before the Olympics.

    Buy-in will be $1 - $1.5 million for each team.

    If it happens, don't expect to see all eight of the current WUSA towns.

    Another meeting on Saturday. :)
  23. da_cfo

    da_cfo New Member

    Apr 19, 2003
    San Francisco CA
    We have known that only 4 teams have committed owners or pending owners at the time WUSA folded:

    Boston (Hostetter)
    Washington (Hendricks)
    Atlanta (COX)
    Carolina (SAS, pending ownership transfer)

    Both west coast teams were for sale, as were NY and Philly, at the time WUSA LLC suspended operations.

    Where will WUSA come up with 4 more teams? I don't see potential owners out there.

    Could a 4-team WUSA work, even if for one season?

    Assuming that WUSA ends up going with a 4-team league with a 12-game schedule (3 opponents, 4 games each).

    Total budget for 4-team league on a 12-game schedule should be on the order of $12 million, or $3 million per team.

    Anticipated national sponsorship money for 4-team league should be on the order of $2 million assuming Hyundai and J&J both stay on board for $1 million each.

    If each team can generate $500000 in ticket and local sponsorship revenue (assuming 6 home games each), that still means each team owner will still lose $2 million for the season.

    I can see the likes of SAS willing to lose $1 million, but not $2 million.
  24. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    WE had one when I played Little League (back during the Civil War), but the 'season' only lasted 2 months, with a game a week.
  25. sexysadie

    sexysadie Red Card

    Sep 29, 2003
    somewhere on earth
    There's an alternate to WUSA : little wusa, which means everything in a little scale, salary, schedules, pool of players, number of teams, location between one team and another (to cut the trip's expenses) etc and we go from there, if the system works than we expand little by little every season, eventhough everything little but, the result will be very positive.

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