Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Catering to the Masses: Not!

By El Chupa
Just a quick note before I try to get the MLS stats updated for release later today. As we noted last week, and as Eric Wynalda pointed out last night on Fox Football Fone-In, the MLS has got to quit trying to lure American Sports fans away from NASCAR and SEC football and start catering to American Soccer fans. Period. Wynalda goes even further, asking pointedly: why cater to soccer moms who don't know anything about the game when you can cater to the millions of knowledgeable football fans and thus build both the game and the league's marketshare? El Chupa is 42. He went to an NASL playoff game between New England and Rochester in the late 1970s. He played nothing but soccer from the time he was 8 until he graduated high school, MVP of his high school team. He grew up not in California or the Northeast corridor but deep in the midwest. In short, soccer is not "new." Everytime he hears an undereducated and overpaid sportscaster describe American soccer and the MLS as emergent he reaches for a gun but usually pops a Xanax instead. Seattle sells 24,000+ tickets a game not because soccer in the Pacific NW is a new fad, but because it's deeply ingrained in the psyche of its people. The MLS doesn't understand this and needs to rethink its business model.

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