Metros Business 2003 & MPF

Discussion in 'New York Red Bulls' started by Metros Front Office, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. Metros Front Office

    Metros Front Office New Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    We read with interest comments regarding the sales and marketing efforts of the MetroStars front office. Since you are the most passionate fans of the team and of the sport, we though we'd provide you with some real insights into the growth of our business - thanks to our sales, marketing and public relations efforts. The fact is that we have just completed one of the most successful business years for the organization.

    For the 2003 season the organization made a decision to focus resources against building interest in the MetroStars team, and away from the doubleheader event approach we utilized in 2002. In 2002, more than half (9 games) of our regular season were doubleheader matches. This year all MetroStars games were standalone matches. This stategy has been a great success as we have strenghtened our connection to our core fan base by focusing on and building our product.

    Sales and marketing efforts this year delivered 8% growth in MetroMemberships, and 15% growth in advance sales. These successes led to an overall increase in average attendance from 15,829 to 15,882. This growth would have been even higher had we experienced better weather for the games. As you know, over a quarter of games this year took place during miserable weather conditions that reduced walk-up attendance for those games to less than 20% of projection. Bottom line though: attendance and TV ratings are up and on a par with the Nets and Devils. Other business indicators such as sponsorship and merchandise sales are also up.

    We also wanted to provide our fans with a brief update on MPF. The playoffs present a unique challenge from a sales & marketing perspective given (1) the lack of lead time (Saturday's game was confirmed 7 days out) and (2) the very busy sports calendar this time of year. The MPF campaign is designed to help cut through the clutter of the marketplace and create an identity for the playoffs that is different from the regular season. MPF is about creating a fun "party-like" celebration around the playoffs.

    A red hat is symbolic of this identity and serves as way to build excitement and awareness of the games. While some of you clearly do not love the campaign, you must agree that we have succeeded in developing an unprecedented level of chatter around the game and the playoffs!

    Over the last few days, many of the major media outlets in the area have provided the MetroStars with exposure that's otherwise unseen in this marketplace.
    As we come to the end of the team's 8th season, we believe there is much for our fans to be excited about. Our team has reached its first ever final with US Open Cup, and is contending for the MLS Cup. Business is growing across the board. And the Harrison stadium project draws closer to becoming a reality each and every week.

    As always, the MetroStars value your support. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday -- with your red hats on!
  2. cjschlos

    cjschlos Member

    Jan 21, 1999
    New York
    While I am not a huge fan of the MPF campaign, I am glad you are marketing the Metros and very happy to see some honest feedback and information on our business here on bigsoccer. Thank you for taking the time to inform some of your most loyal fans.
  3. metros11

    metros11 Member

    Sep 11, 1999
    Highlands of NJ
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I find the campaign hillarious, and to be honest, I like it! Everyone around the league thinks you're a joke, but here in MetroLand we're not surprised that you came up with this stuff. Keep it up.

    LESTER New Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    MFO: Thank you for posting this reply. It's informative and very helpful in understanding what's going on. I think more interaction like this -- that keeps us informed on a high level -- would help avoid the criticism to which you're responding.

    While I think the MPF campaign is pretty weak, I'm willing to withhold judgment until after Saturday. If the techniques are really working, and given the brilliant weather, we should see close to 20k at the stadium. If so, congrats. If not, well then MFO can say whatever it wants, the efforts will have been a failure.
  5. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Member

    Feb 2, 1999
    W. Orange <-> NYC
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MFO, thanks for posting. Undertaking a dialogue with your core fan base is extremely important.

    That said, today's USA Today reports that Metro attendance DECLINED this past year to 15,882, a 13% drop from 2002's average attendance of 18,155.

    Who is correct? Are you saying last year's reported attendance number is inflated? Or are you "just whistling dixie?" If so, could you explain how attracting 2,200 fewer fans per game "strengthens the connection with the core fan?"
  6. 1MADDOG

    1MADDOG New Member

    Aug 15, 2000
    I think the idea is brilliant. Didnt like it the first few minutes, but then again it wasn't targeted to people like me.

    Great job! Dont like u guys much, but whats good for a MLS team in NY is good for all MLS teams.
  7. metrosct

    metrosct New Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Rowayton, CT
    If the 18,155 is correct it still included 9 doubleheaders. Given there weren't any doubleheaders this season, I think it is easy to conclude that attendance has at least leveled off (and possibly increased). Further, Metro eliminated the costs of paying 2 additional teams to take part in the doubleheaders. MFO has concentrated on the Metro product on the field and hasn't tried to lure in Columbian, Peruvian, etc. fans to see their national sides.
  8. Shabs

    Shabs Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Thank you for the response. I applaud your efforts, but am somewhat dissatisfied with your approach, especially regarding 'MPF'. The only chatter you've created is on Bigsoccer. And not in a good way, as you've read. The first issue is the amateurish looking images. Take a look at the DC board for their just as "quality" looking spins on the logos. The 2nd issue is branding, or lack thereof . You can give out a zillion MPF hats to the public, but if it doesnt say Metrostars on it, there is no association to our team. 10 minutes after you hand it out and explain it, they won't remember the league name, the team name, or what they're supposed to be excited about. As shown in the Today Show example. I'm not sure you did this, but why not create a colorful index sized card with Metros info that you can give out along with all the other stuff. At least then someone could refer to the card later on after they forget the initial pitch.
  9. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

    Manchester United, Galway United, New York Red Bulls
    Nov 2, 2001
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    Where's the numbers and source for the TV ratings?

    Always getting closer but we never actually get there, right?
  10. Shabs

    Shabs Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Who was it targeted to?
  11. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's instructive to look at the Metro's attendance game by game for the two seasons, ordered by size:

      2003    2002
    23,786	45,411
    22,274	22,071
    20,082	22,070
    19,801	20,447
    18,649	20,047
    17,934	18,401
    16,507	15,551
    16,116	14,585
    14,875	13,837
    14,742	13,339
    13,567	13,234
    11,069	12,471
    10,737	12,008
     9,110	10,602
    What you see is that the difference in attendance is mostly concentrated in the Ecuador/Bulgaria doubleheader in 2002 that drew 45,000 and a Thursday game against DC United this year that only drew 8,077. This year's _median_ attendance (the number at which the same number of games are below the mark as above it) is actually higher than 2002.

    That said, can't say I'm a fan of this MPF thing.
  12. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    The fact that the ad campaigne is being ridiculed on other boards -- especially one from somewhere in Ohio -- simply makes it for me. Where can I get a red hat?

    You guys may be fools, but you're our fools -- and maybe not so foolish after all. :)
  13. studsup

    studsup New Member

    Aug 12, 2001
    Garden State, born N
    Cutting through the verbage, MFO states that they have attraced an average increase of 53 fans to each home game.
    53 fans...

    I wonder if it can be tracked to the biddy soccer sides at halftime and IF any of those teams come back at all.
  14. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Member

    Feb 2, 1999
    W. Orange <-> NYC
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Completely understand, CT and voros, that median attendance is up.

    Just would like the MFO to be aware that making a statement about increasing attendance while a national paper reports a 13% attendance drop looks a little strange.
  15. cmonaco

    cmonaco New Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Freudian slip?

    Yes, MPF has gotten a lot of exposure. Unfortunately no one knows what the heck it stands for. And when the hear what it stands for, and by chance venture onto the team website, they are greated by Metal Mike and what appears to be a Terry Gilliam animation of huge dogs popping out of a stadium.

    Yes, getting people's attention is important. What's more important is getting a message across. Marketing 101, isn't it? What message are people supposed to be getting when they hear about MPF? I bet 90% of the audience doesn't even know what the hell it stands for.

    It's not the effort people are criticizing, its the competence.
  16. MetroFever

    MetroFever Member+

    Jun 3, 2001
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:

    The Chicago Fire had the same time you did in putting together a marketing piece. Look below at their professional piece and compare it to your poster with Marilyn Monroe and two other deceased actors. Or compare it to your MPF campaign and tell me which one is more likely to draw fans?


  17. feuerfex

    feuerfex Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    I'm sorry. This is just complete unadulterated BS. (I know - it's in an appropriate location.)

    The Metrostars average regular season attendance for the preceding three years is as follows:

    2001 - 20806
    2002 - 18155
    2003 - 15882

    In the preceding two years the Metrostars have experienced declines of 12.7 % and 12.8 % in attendance.

    I'm not sure where MFO pulled that 15829 figure from (I can guess), but it has little relationship to reality.

    Two straight years of 12.5% attendance declines does not give one much confidence in the effectiveness of the marketing arm of the MFO.
  18. Z010 Union

    Z010 Union Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Metros Business 2003 & MPF

    In all fairness, this is the first year in which the club wasn't reliant on ethnically pandering doubleheaders.
  19. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

    Dec 2, 1998
    But isn't the MPF campain a leftover from last year?
  20. metros11

    metros11 Member

    Sep 11, 1999
    Highlands of NJ
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That ad has nothing on our Metro Turkey!!!
  21. Stogey23

    Stogey23 Member+

    Dec 12, 1998
    San Diego, CA
    Re: Re: Metros Business 2003 & MPF

    Rack 'em!
  22. feuerfex

    feuerfex Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Re: Re: Re: Metros Business 2003 & MPF

    I'm sorry. I thought the object of the exercise was to get people to come to the games. I didn't realize that that the color of their money (or their skin) was important.
  23. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The point being that the attendance numbers are inflated if your trying to gauge something like fan support. Sure it was 45,000, but they weren't there to see the Metrostars.
  24. Metrogo

    Metrogo Member

    Apr 6, 1999
    Washington Hghts NY
    "Metros Front Office" is missing an apostrophe, which wouldn't really bother me had they not made a typo on the bumper sticker that adorns the back of my car.

    Lying about last year's attendance. Shame, shame. And for those of you who are apologizing that we didn't have doubleheaders this year, well, then they should have said that, rather than just blatantly lie to their core supporters.

    I'm sorry, I have been a long time Metros supporter and season ticket holder, but gave them up this year because, when all was said and done, Dan who called me from the Metros sales dept couldn't offer me a better reason than I should support American soccer. Well, I had been doing that for a few years, but you know what, if I'm giving to a charity, there are clearly better ones than MLS. And here's one reason, any charity that lies to its donors isn't worth contributing too.

    I truly am sorry to all the supporters and people who care about football surviving in this nation, but I just couldn't go on plunking my money down for a mickey mouse operation like the Metrostars, and given the failings of the front office yet again, I certainly won't be a season ticket holder next year.
  25. SoFla Metro

    SoFla Metro Member

    Jul 21, 2000
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I have to be mis-reading this, right? Certainly the front office didn't make a concious decision not to try to bring in new fans, right?

    Even better, as written the above statement says the front office devoted resources to stop interest-building exercises. Which would certainly explain the attendance drop.

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