league viability

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by supa, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. supa

    supa New Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    united states
    i came across an article that discussed about mls's current financial status and that its viability as a league is improving:

    http://216.198.206.182/news/?CatTypeId=2&ContentId=895

    the article does not delve into specifics or give any hard data, but i agree with the article and think that things may be turning around for mls. a couple years ago, columnists were writing about how much money the league was losing, but i haven't seen them lately. i do think that the league is still in the red, but it's much closer to getting out of the red then it was 3 years ago. having SSS has definitely helped, and with another 2, possibly even 4, on the way (frisco, chicago, harrison, denver) it should help even more. and given the current economic state, having new investors (kroenke, vegara, club america) is a very encouraging sign. what is even more encouraging are reports of how other cities such as san antonio are trying to court mls to for expansion teams (san antonio is reportedly discussing plans to renovate the alamodome to compete with houston for an expansion team. the league isn't out of the 'financial' woods yet, but i feel that is getting much closer.
     
  2. Paul. A

    Paul. A Member

    Mar 16, 1999
    Wales, UK
    Well I hope the league survives, it was bad losing the Mutiny but to hear that MLS went the way of WUSA would be devistating. I really believe that US soccer can make it big in this country, but one always gets nervous when setbacks arise.
     
  3. supa

    supa New Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    united states
    unfortunately for the wusa, with small fall base, it is heavily dependent on coportate sponsorship. i don't think you can compare both mls and wusa directly, but i would definitely pay close attention if i was in charge of mls (and i think garber is despite is statement last week).
     
  4. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, new investors is a big key. New investors mean more capital for marketing the league, and more marketing means more fans. There is such an untapped market in the U.S., and with the fiascos that are hockey and baseball at the moment, there are plenty of people dying for MLS to give them a reason to cheer. We keep talking about how we need to get people who never liked soccer to watch in order to make the league successful, but what we really need is to garner enough exposure and thus CREDIBILITY to the league so that all of the people i know who can't believe that this is a viable league will change their opinion and show up to games. good luck MLS. I'm cheering, and backing it up with my entertainment dollar, in an effort to help the league.
     
  5. lightningback

    lightningback New Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Carson
    onfineesq, you make a great and important point when you bring up credibility. Do we need the general market to buy into the league? Yes. But more so, we need the people already involved/interested in soccer to become regular supporters of MLS. The teams and league recognize this and are making this effort, though, it will take time. There are plenty of people involved in youth and adult soccer leagues who are still keeping their backs turned away from MLS. The teams can throw all the marketing dollars they want at the general market in the form of advertising, billboards, etc.. but they have seen that their money is much better spent putting it toward grass roots programs with people that are already involved in the sport.
     
  6. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    There's only one solution...

    Credibility can't be bought or created through advertising, it can only be gained by giving a consistent product to the public over a long period of time. The main reason MLS seems more credible today is because it's still here. It's all just baby steps. And when the league gets to point where most people can't remember when it wasn't here, then it will have arrived.
     
  7. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: There's only one solution...

    I see what you are saying, but i guess i didn't make my position really clear. I'm not sayint that credibility can be bought. what i AM saying is that the league has gotten very little exposure in mainstream American culture. More investors and more money can help with the exposure part of the problem, and through that exposure, people will hopefully come to see the product itself and eventually see the product as worthy of consistent support. there are plenty of people in places like myself (DC) who don't even know they have a professional team in town. that's just a tragedy. without people knowing that they have another viable option in town to try out, things will be difficult regardless of the level of play.
     
  8. supa

    supa New Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    united states
    one thing i think the league should do is invest more in youth teams and reserve teams. it would allow more grassroots efforts into the communities and provide for player development. i would have to agree with onefineesq regarding exposure. one suprising thing is how little the league is advertised. i hardly ever see advertisements for upcoming matches or about the league itself. which is odd, since the league/espn used to have commercials about mls a couple of years ago. i'm not suggesting a major, all-out ad campaign, but the league needs to start advertising itself, all the way from the league office to the front offices of the clubs. it would help remind the public that a top-flight soccer league actually exists!
     
  9. supa

    supa New Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    united states
  10. Dennis P. Crawford

    Dec 5, 2001
    The fact that MLS has two new investors is proof that it is here to stay. Shrew businessmen like Kroenke and Vegara wouldn't invest in MLS unless they thought they had a pretty good chance to turn a profit in the foreseeable future.
     
  11. Wolves_67

    Wolves_67 Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Pasadena, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With MLS having the fine sponsorship of Milo, "The Official Chocolate Milk of Major League Soccer!", I don't think we have anything to worry about. :)
     
  12. JCUnited

    JCUnited Member

    Oct 7, 2002
    South Bend, IN
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    What I like to see, and haven't read anywhere yet, is the announcement that Kroenke wants the Rapids in their own home in 2006. Think about that date. 2006. Isn't that when the investors agreed to go to during the last round of discussions? Isn't that when the current Disney TV deal runs to?

    To put it plain, would Garber and the investors of MLS let this man plan to build a new stadium for 2006 (let alone have Frisco bankroll a Burn home for 2005) if they didn't plan to continue on after that date?

    To all those on this site who have worried about the 2006 set deadline, I think we have a real clear answer here. That definitely will not be MLS's last year of operation, unless some major league bad things happen between now and then (and I don't see them happening).
     
  13. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    OK. I give up.

    I've spent the last couple of hours trawling round the internet trying to find out just how MLS is doing but without success. It's probably me being thick, (wouldn't be the first time), but can anyone point me at any financial statistics that indicate how it IS doing financially and whether it's going up or down.
     
  14. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    It's a private entity. They don't have to tell you if they don't want to tell you.

    They don't want to tell you.
     
  15. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    These "fiascos" still have tremendous glee clubs in the media -- both print and electronic. Compared with soccer in general and MLS in particular, it is simply overwhelming. With that much good cheer inundating the average sports fan, how can they help but enjoy the ride?

    Even the Cubs are having a great season.
     
  16. Texan

    Texan New Member

    Jan 8, 2001
    That a long-time insider like Lamar Hunt is sinking more money into the league in the form of the SSS Frisco stadium suggests there are no signs of disaster on the horizon.
     
  17. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Anglophone footie fans should do what immigrants have been doing for years: watch Univision and Telemundo. Learn Spanish! You'll get coverage from broadcasters who share the passion and knowledge of futbol. Even in following USM and WNTs, they both cover 'em WAY more than ABC, CBS and NBC.

    Back in the day, I used to watch the WC w/ a German neighbor, who didn't understand a word. Good times...
     
  18. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Re: Re: There's only one solution...

    These people in DC that you mention might just be soccerphobes! I mean, they probably don't know about the existence of Manchester United or when the next World Cup is either. It will be very difficult to get these type of people into MLS. The easier target would be people whose favorite sport to watch is already soccer. How many people in the US fall into this category? 10 million? 15 million? Tough to ballpark but it's up there! And how many of these people watch even 1 MLS game per week? Hardly any. So I think great gains can be made just in this segment of the population....

    Also WUSA crashed cuz the salaries were ridiculously high. So MLS just has to be careful about that. Don't become like Major League Baseball...
     
  19. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    In the UK if you are a private limited company or a public limited company you have to file accounts with the government.

    I think the IRS may get a bit sniffy about that sort of thing as well.
     
  20. jkorzen

    jkorzen New Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    washington, dc
    I don't entirely agree with this. As a youth travel coach, I'd love to see my players go to every single DC United home game and I certainly encourage them to do so. But I personally think the incentives are lacking. A typical promotion for a youth team is usually like a couple bucks off the ticket and maybe a party in the parking lot. That's nice for a one time event, but I feel like they could do more.

    How about $10 tix available to the youth leagues? So even cash strapped families could afford to go several times a season. Wouldn't that investment in growing your audience be worth it? To me it seems more valuable than money spent on television or radio ads.
     
  21. supa

    supa New Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    united states
    i didn't realize that mls promotions for youth league were that small. but then again, the league is rolling in money. however, it is important for the league to try to establish itself with young players, because they have potential to become future fans. thus, mls clubs could and should do more to promote itself to youth soccer leagues . for instance, kansas city spent a great deal of effort, time, and money to try and break the attendance record earlier this month. the front offices should consider promoting itself to the youth leagues more as jkorzen suggested. it may not be able to draw vasts numbers at first, but it's better than skimpy discounts or nothing at all.
     

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