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Major League Soccer Jersey Avertising


Brian in Boston

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Today's Wall Street Journal is reporting that Major League Soccer will allow individual teams to sell ad space on the front of jerseys, beginning next season.

MLS has set a minimum price for such a sponsorship at $500,000 per year, with the league collecting $200,000 from any deal signed.

The commissioner's office reserves the right to reject deals, and the league will not allow advertisements from hard liquor brands or internet casinos on uniforms.

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I can see it now... the D.C. United, sponsored by American Airlines... the Columbus Crew, sponsored by J. Crew... Real Salt Lake, sponsored by the Scientologists... this could be fun.

I would've thought Salt Lake would be sponsored by Morton's.

LA Galaxy sponsored by M&M Mars or Milky Way, Colorad Rapids sponsored by Aquafina/Dasani?.

I wonder who'd sponsor the New York team? :rolleyes:

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It's a great first step for MLS. Now, they need to combine the two divisions into one table and free the teams up to run their own businesses on the free market. If RBNY or LA Galaxy can pony up the money for a Beckham or Ronaldo, the entire game changes for MLS...

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It's a great first step for MLS. Now, they need to combine the two divisions into one table and free the teams up to run their own businesses on the free market. If RBNY or LA Galaxy can pony up the money for a Beckham or Ronaldo, the entire game changes for MLS...

Yeah. Then they can start to lose even more money.

C'mon, soccer fans. Face it - yours is a sport that will, because of its slow, methodical nature, will NEVER catch on to become a 'major' sport in America. It's just not conducive to American-style marketing.

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The MLS isn't trying to be the NFL.

I think the fact the MLS has been around for 10 years, gotten a shread of respect from the rest of the world, and they are building their own stadiums is moving in the right direction and needless to say pretty impressive.

How amazing is it to start a sport in america that is the most popular in the world, but nobody cares about here, and it is still around after 10 years. Who thought 10 years ago that there would be 5 or 6 soccer only facilities in america for professional teams? Not only that, but the same people that laughed at the league 10 years ago, at least show some level of respect now. The MLS winner won't ever be invited into the champions league, but they aren't laughing anymore.

And they are building stadiums.

To me I don't care if the MLS is as big as the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB. Arena football isn't near that popular and they've been around for 20 years. Arena teams don't even have Arena football only stadiums. Its a niche market and tehy are realizing that. I think at the beginning they felt they could change America fans. But you can't. Many fans have this thing against soccer for no good reason, so they never give it a chance, cause we are arrogant americans. Now the target market is hardcore soccer fans and giving them a product they can enjoy here in addition to their overseas team.

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How amazing is it to start a sport in america that is the most popular in the world, but nobody cares about here, and it is still around after 10 years.

If you use conventional American logic then Pro Football (NFL) is the most popular sport in the world.

Afterall America is the center of the world right? :P

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C'mon, soccer fans. Face it - yours is a sport that will, because of its slow, methodical nature, will NEVER catch on to become a 'major' sport in America. It's just not conducive to American-style marketing.

Wow.

It's not often that someone can display such stunning ignorance of a sport in so few words.

Soccer will not become a Big Four sport in America, but not because it's "slow."

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Let the naysayers talk their talk. Soccer is on a slow, but powerful rise in the US. When MLS started 11 years ago, the only soccer on US TV was on Spanish-language channels and a Sunday night, 30-minute Premiership highlight show on Fox. On radio, it was nonexistent.

In 2006, we have two major cable channels (Fox Soccer Channel, Gol TV), a major subscription channel (Setanta Sports), World Cup coverage on high-definition broadcast TV, and a satellite radio channel with all footy (Sirius ch. 125). Soccer now has the highest participation rate of any youth sport in America and our women's soccer development programs are considered the best in the world.

The sport is at a greater level of visibility and playability in the US than ever before. It crosses all cultural and class boundaries, requiring only a ball and your feet to play. Anyone who thinks soccer is going away here is wildly uninformed.

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C'mon, soccer fans.  Face it - yours is a sport that will, because of its slow, methodical nature, will NEVER catch on to become a 'major' sport in America.  It's just not conducive to American-style marketing.

Wow.

It's not often that someone can display such stunning ignorance of a sport in so few words.

Soccer will not become a Big Four sport in America, but not because it's "slow."

C'mon man. Cut the guy a break. It was a typo. He meant to say "cricket" where he put "soccer."

That has to be the problem here.

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How amazing is it to start a sport in america that is the most popular in the world, but nobody cares about here, and it is still around after 10 years. Who thought 10 years ago that there would be 5 or 6 soccer only facilities in america for professional teams?

The problem with the "we've outlasted the naysayers for ten years" argument is that it's not new. The North American Soccer League survived for seventeen years and grew to twenty-four teams... before ignominiously folding in 1984.

As for the construction of "soccer only facilities", it's time that this claim was realistically addressed. The stadiums being built to house Major League Soccer franchises are "soccer only" in name alone. Sure, MLS teams are positioned as the primary professional sports tenants in the facilities. However, each and every one of the MLS owner/operators partnering in the building of these facilities is hedging their bets by planning to book as many non-soccer related events as possible into the buildings. How many of them are being built without some provision for a concert staging area being designed into the facility as part of the development process? Do you honestly think that Phil Anschutz was only thinking about the future of the Los Angeles Galaxy when he entered into a partnership to construct the Home Depot Center? Hell, no. He already had visions of Green Day concerts, the ESPN X Games and Rugby Sevens dancing in his head. Ditto for Stan Kroenke in Commerce City, Colorado... Dave Checketts in Sandy, Utah... Lamar Hunt in Columbus, Ohio and Frisco, Texas... and the list goes on and on.

Look, I'm a die-hard soccer fan. I grew up playing the sport... following the sport... attending NASL, ASL, MISL, A-League and college matches. I love it. That said, soccer is a niche sport in this country... in a big way. With regards to true long-term survival - we're talking 20+ years - MLS isn't "out of the woods" just yet. Mark me down a CAUTIOUSLY optimistic... with the emphasis on "cautiously".

Bottom line? I could see Major League Soccer surviving for decades to come. Then again, I could see it disappearing from the North American sports landscape within another 10 years. When it comes to pro soccer in this country, there's no such thing as a "sure thing".

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I get your point Brian, but it would be silly for anyone to assume that "soccer-specific" means "soccer-only." I don't think anybody's implying that. Hell, even the storied Old Trafford, home to Manchester United, plays host to rugby and even concerts.

I see the importance of "soccer-specific" stadia as that of having MLS teams as a venue's primary tenant. That's opposed to being a short-term renter of an NFL stadium, which put MLS among the ranks of Ringling Bros and monster struck shows.

Still, I also have a hard time believing that the MLS can be anything more than a niche pro sport. They've made great strides and have been careful -- almost too careful, in my opinion -- to avoid the mistakes made by the NASL.

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I'm well aware of the Kenny Chesney Concert that played in Chicago's Toyota Park.

But would you call Soldier Field a multi-purpose facility? No. Its a football stadium, even though they regularly stage large concerts there like Dave Matthews and the Rolling Stones.

Wrigley Field had Jimmy Buffett. So did Fenway. And Fenway is going to have a hockey game. Doesn't make them any less of a baseball stadium. Lambeau Field held a hockey game too. Its still a Football mecca.

The point is, without the MLS, Toyota Park in Bridgeview never would have been built. Its a soccer stadium that happens to have concerts. Its not a concert venue that also happens to ahve soccer games.

I'll also say, I understand the MLS could fold at anytime. So could arena football. But its not the same as it was 10 years ago. The sport in america is not the same. Its a niche sport, but only in the eyes of the mainstream sports fan. There are many more soccer fans in this country than 10 years ago. And I'm one of them.

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