March 10, 2010

CONCACAF Champions League, why bother?

MLS is in a catch-22 situation when it comes to the CCL. As it stands now, outside of a high-profile match-up with Chivas or Club América (which will bring in more fans of the other team than yours), most of the matchups aren't appealing to the casual soccer fan.

On top of that, the games are tough and your club might not look so great against a team casual fans don't really know anything about. It's one thing to go watch the Sounders get pounded by Chelsea or the Red Bulls lose big to Barcelona, but everybody knows how good they are. It's another to watch the Red Bulls lose to W Connection or the Revolution get hammered by Joe Public. It doesn't send a good message to the public about your team.

So what do you do? You could take the approach of the Columbus Crew last night, market the game as a "premium event" and sell tickets for $25. Didn't work so well, did it?

Personally, I think you can use these games as a way to expose new people to your product. Since they're not drawing well, slash the ticket prices. Make it $5, really push these games to people looking for a deal. Last night's game was entertaining, as are a good majority of these CONCACAF games, it's a shame only a little over 4,000 people saw it. American fans love a chance to chant for the USA, really push the international aspect of the game.

Most importantly, offer the fans who come out to these games a coupon for coming back to league games. Do a buy one, get one free deal on the back of the ticket, something to maximize your club's exposure.

Until the MLS teams start winning this tournament and performing at the World Club Cup, it's going to take some work to make it matter. It's up to the MLS teams and the league office to make this important.


Anonymous said...

Great idea. It is a shame that the MLS marketing people can't think of this type of incentive.

Mary said...

Nice article and opinion. We need football not only busniess