Man. U. / Tampa Bay Bucs. "Link Up"?

Discussion in 'Arsenal' started by Jeff L, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Jeff L

    Jeff L Member

    May 12, 2002
    Arsenal FC
    Although I tend not to post on the boards much about anything other than connected with Arsenal, cause for concern. Particulary with the M.U. / N.Y. Yankees link up is apparently that T.B.B. boss Malcolm Glazer is considering purchasing a substantial (if not total) amount of shares in Man. Utd. Is he in the same league as Roman Abramovich at Chelski? Or is it a "forging" link with "big name" U.K. team with last season's "SuperBowl" winners?
    (Also for the benefit of U.S. fans, I have just finished watching the Rangers v. M.U. game which ended in a
    1 - 0 win to our rivals, but in my opinion (and probably that of the TV pundits, although I had left the pub before they came on, but Tim Howard was probably "MotM".).
    When are Arsenal going to "link up" with a "big name" American club from whatever field.
    While we await the development of Ashburton Grove (?) why don't we start the ball rolling and forge some links that will be benficial both commerically and economicaly.
    Why are the board just sitting by and watching M.U. steal all the action? After all, they are all shrewd businessmen, otherwise they wouldn't be there!?
    Why is it me, and many other "average fans" can see the writing on the wall, but not them. Maybe, to coin a phrase used over here, (and maybe where you are),
    "There's none so blind that those that see"!
  2. jwaldman11

    jwaldman11 New Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    The OC
    As far as I know, Glazer isn't close to Abramovich's league. He's obviously wealthy, but he's never been the free spender that a Dan Snyder is, though I have to qualify that by saying that NFL teams are restricted by the salary cap. Glazer also owns the Bucs with his brothers, so it's not a case of sole ownership. In reality, Glazer is probably very far down the list of reasons why Tampa is an elite team at this point. I would point to General Manager Rich McKay first, followed by former head coach Tony Dungy, then current head coach Jon Gruden, then a lot of the players, and then Glazer. Yeah, he wrote the checks, but McKay drafted and signed the players. About the only thing that Glazer did was get Jon Gruden, and to do that, he mortgaged the team's future by sending Oakland their first and second round draft picks for last year and this year. (For those who don't know, instead of having a full youth system, the NFL holds a draft where teams pick players out of college. It enables the worst teams to draft the best players.) So I wouldn't be too concerned from that end, as he's not going to enable Man U to do anymore than they do now. Hell, if he gets a controlling stake, he might have them do less, as he'll be splitting his money between Man U and the Bucs.

    As for a marketing partnership with Man U, I'm not sure if it's a big deal, as Tampa is not a traditional power like the Yankees are. They're really one of those flash in the pan teams that's popular right now because they're good. Up until about 7 or 8 years ago, they were the laughing stock of the league for the most part until Dungy came in. If it was the Raiders, Packers, Cowboys, or Steelers, one of those teams with a very well established fan base, then I'd be concerned, as those fans are the diehards who will do anything and everything for their team. I know, as I'm a Steeler fan.

    Having said all that, I think it is important for Arsenal to increase their exposure in America and the best way to do that is to link up with an extremely popular American sports team and doing a tour. The teams I can think of off the top of my head that would be the best bets would be the Mets, Red Sox, Cubs, Giants and Braves in MLB, the Raiders, Bears, Cowboys and Steelers in the NFL, and the Lakers, Knicks, and Bulls in the NBA. Much as I love the NHL, I don't think any of those teams would be of major help right now, particularly with the labor issues on the horizon. I think the NBA in particular would be open to forging a partnership, as they're all about getting a worldwide audience now.
  3. Coach_McGuirk

    Coach_McGuirk New Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Between the Pipes

    While I agree with you 100% that it would be great to see Arsenal "hook up" with a sports team from the States, there's just no other team like the Yankees. They have the largest fan base of any pro sports team in the US, and with their lucrative TV deals they have more media clout than any other team could offer (The YES Sports Network is part of the Yankee empire). I'm not sure any NFL team would be interested as they are strictly governed on what they can and cannot do by the league, and as far as media goes they are required to pool all of their TV revenue that is then equally distributed among the league. Profits from merchandise sales of NFL products are also divided equally amongst the clubs, so their is no real reason to have a marketing partner (just ask the Cinncinatti Bengals).

    The NHL is very provincial and hockey teams are losing money left and right.

    The only other option is an NBA franchise, and after the LA Lakers there's nobody else that could possibly help Arsenal build a larger fan base in the States.

    So, in short, there's not much hope for Arsenal hooking up in the US. They'll have to do it alone, and that in itself would not be cost effective.

    What really needs to happen is the Premiership as a whole needs to come up with a strategy to market the game in the States. Perhaps several clubs could come over each summer for a series of pre-season friendlies. Say 3 clubs play 4 matches a piece (2 against one another, 2 against an MLS side) in several cities. Each club would get 4 matches in the US, and the teams could be rotated with one "A-List" club being included in the mix (Arsenal, manUre, 'Pool, Chelsea, Newcastle) with to lesser known clubs (Charlton, Fulham, etc)

    As far as Glazer goes, he's got plenty of money, but he's got nowhere near the cash that Abramovich has.
  4. Detlef

    Detlef Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Coach McGuirk's analysis is correct. If Arsenal is going to link up with an American sports franchise, it must be one with a strong national following.
    A candidate (and it pains me to say this as a White Sox fan) would be the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. They have a very strong following (I put them #2 behind the Yankees) and a lot of their games are televised nationally on the superstation WGN. However the Cubs are owned by a large corporation with lots of bureaucracy (the Chicago Tribune Company) so I doubt they'd ever go for it.
  5. jwaldman11

    jwaldman11 New Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    The OC
    Yeah, the Cubs were one of the teams that I thought would be the best fit, due to being in an MLS city, having a huge following, and a deal with WGN. But the Tribune Company is what kills this for me, as they're notoriously cheap and probably don't want to give the effort coming up with a joint marketing agreement.

    Actually the two that make the most sense to me are the Red Sox, who have the huge following and, I believe, own at least part of NESN, enabling Arsenal to get on all over New England, and the Braves, who might not have the big following they used to, but who do have TBS. Television is imperative to any kind of marketing partnership so that fans get exposure to Arsenal more than just when they happen to come over.

    Having said that, I also agree with Coach's analysis that the EPL as a whole needs to start marketing in the US. The only hangup is that I doubt Man U will go along with it, as they know they can have their own lucrative tour and keep a large portion of the profits themselves, so there's no motivation for them to go in on it.
  6. billyho96

    billyho96 Member

    Aug 16, 2003

  7. Mike Toole

    Mike Toole New Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Cambridge, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, the Arsenal/Sox parallel is a big part of what drew me to support the gunners. I could relate to a team that was revered across the country as top-drawer, yet never seemed to live up to their potential.

    As such, I would LOVE to see a Red Sox/Arsenal team up, I think it would make great sense. Although, to touch upon Coach McGuirk's idea, the concept of a friendly between the Revolution and Arsenal would split me down the middle...!
  8. TxTechGooner

    TxTechGooner we're having fun here, no?

    Feb 24, 2003
    Arsenal/Mavericks connection?? haha.. i know all of us from dallas would fancy that.... god i cant stand the yankees nor manyoo (obviously).. seems only fitting they team up together.. why not put the redskins in that same lot...
  9. Coach_McGuirk

    Coach_McGuirk New Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Between the Pipes
    Re: NY


    Notice I didn't mention ANY NFL teams because of the reasons I stated: the NFL pools all their money together for the good of the league, not any one team. I agree that the Cowboys have a huge following, but it doesn't make any sense for Dallas (or any other NFL team) to partner with an outside sport because the benefits are negligible. Even if an Arsenal/Dallas partnership brought in $50,000,000.00 per year in new merchandise sales in England, Dallas would only get 1/32 of that amount. When Jerry Jones first bought the Cowboys he ran around getting his own marketing deals, and every time he did the monster that is the NFL closed whatever loopholes remained in their marketing agreements or cutting deals with the same companies thereby taking control from Jones. Remember when the Cowboys signed a marketing deal with NIKE, who at the time had no relationship with the NFL? It took the NFL all of 6 months to get it's own deal with NIKE and the Cowboys' money ended up back in the mutual pot with all the other teams.

    While I don't agree with the NFL's marketing policy at all (All teams get the same TV money and the same merchandise money. What motivation does any team have to make itself better? Look at the Bengals: they stink every year, but every year when the checks are cut their's is just as big as the Super Bowl champs), the NFL is the most stable of all the sports leagues in the US. Their labor situation is almost nonexistent (the NFLPA might as well have just disbanded after Gene Upshaw gave the house away in the last work stoppage), their TV contract is the envy of every other league (with no end in sight), and they've got companies lining up around the block to get involved with them.

    In brief, the NFL only promotes the NFL, nothing else, so even though the Cowboys, the 49ers, the Raiders, or the Steelers have huge fanbases that could help, the league would probably not allow it.

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