Skip to comments.Could U.S. Soccer Eclipse Basketball and Hockey? $200M Adidas Pact Suggests Yes
Posted on 05/04/2012 6:46:20 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
Adidas (ADS.DE)'s $200 million sponsorship deal with Major League Soccer shows that the apparelmaker has noticed sports marketing's best-kept secret: U.S. soccer's audience is threatening to eclipse that of the National Hockey League and the NBA. The crucial thing to note in the new deal is that the $200 million pact is worth $25 million per year through 2018. It replaces, mid-contract, a 10-year deal for $150 million, or $15 million a year -- a 66 percent increase in annual value.
Why would Adidas make this expensive move? Consider: The MLS isn't broadcast to a large audience on TV (you have to pay for Fox Soccer Channel to see many of the games). The mainstream press's coverage of U.S. soccer is patchy at best and actively disinterested at worst (this means you, New York Times). And there's a cultural consensus that soccer just isn't important in America (ask any football or baseball fan).
Under that radar, however, the game that ought to be called American football is growing like mold. Here are some recent average attendance stats for the major American sports:
NFL - 67,508.69 (2009 season) MLB - 30,213.37 (2009 season) MLS - 18,452.14 (2010 season, as of 04/11/2010) NBA - 17,149.61 (2009/10 season) NHL - 16,985.31 (2009/10 season) Obviously, there's a caveat here: basketball and hockey teams play a lot more than once a week, so their total attendances are a lot greater.
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Still MC has to go to Newcastle, and MU’s 2 games should be fairly easy for them.
In Britain and in the Commonwealth countries, soccer matches are bet on by the majority of the public by using something called "the pools".
Compare that to what we see in the sports here -- fans are actually rooting for their suck-eggs team to come in last place so that they get the first pick in the draft.
Or how about team owners who don't give a rat's behind if their team finishes last or close to the bottom, as long as there are fannies in the seats?
None of that would happen if the fans or owners were threatened with relegation at the end of the year.
Reductio ad absurdum.
Not by much, but any soccer player barely touched by any other player results in crying on the ground as if their entrails were ripped out in a medieval fashion.
Here we get back to the main reason most Americans shun soccer...the lack of action. In that, I mean purposeful action and not just kicking the ball back and forth. I know there's strategy involved in the game, but when the non-soccer fan by chance tunes in a game, what he or she sees is a shot taken what seems like every other week.
In short, there are simply not enough shots taken. Of course, more shots on goal would mean more scoring. Take three players away from soccer, and it would be an interesting sport (keep the goalie). Plus, shorten the field and get rid of that offside rule. Those changes will never happen, but I can't see Americans watching the sport until they do.
This was the 1990 "Goal of the Year" in English football ... and scored by an American, no less!
You want to make soccer an exciting sport? Allow free substitutions, even in the middle of play. This is the one thing that separated hockey from soccer once they made this single rule change back in the early part of the 20th century. Hockey used to be very similar to soccer more than 100 years ago, but this one change revolutionized the game and indirectly gave it some of its distinguishing characteristics. For one thing, it made hockey a transition game rather than a possession game, and made it an anaerobic activity marked by short bursts of frenetic energy. It also separated itself from other major sports by getting every player on the roster involved in a game, thereby adding a value to playing while injured ... which is where the game's "tough-guy" roots began.
Psst—the vast majority of NFL players don’t come from upper-middle class to upper class backgrounds. Ask many of the players that came the University of Miami to the NFL—most started in some really poor neighborhoods in Dade and Broward Counties in Florida.
I think that’s why I’d like watching an EPL game over an MLS game. MLS you might have 20,000 people in the stands, at a normal level of fan interest for fans of a given team. Compare that to a Manchester derby or, say, Chelsea/Liverpool, or any of the big rivalries...50,000 or more in the stands at an insane level of intensity the entire time. It makes up for the occasionally slow action down on the field.
As for MLS here, it’s largely a Hispanic immigrant fanbase. Pro soccer still hasn’t caught on with “native” Americans and it may never, but with as many immigrants, both legal and illegal, as we have here now, MLS can still pick up a reasonably large fanbase. Plus I imagine tickets are inexpensive compared to the other top-level pro sports so it’s easier for a family to go check it out if they want.
Agreed. MC has no walk in the park.
Depending on the state you live in, most youth state soccer programs have a video library which will teach you to be a better coach. Everything from basics to team strategies. Drill the basics, and I used to teach the kids a new move each week to beat someone. The kids all seem to like the flashy moves, but those seldom defeat defenders.
We will just agree to disagree. It really depends on how much you know about the game. I would prefer to watch a close pitcher's duel in baseball rather than a high scoring game. Soccer at its highest level is a technical game filled with strategy and tactics. The buildup to a goal can be beautiful and the athleticism and skill of the players are remarkable.
You want to make soccer an exciting sport? Allow free substitutions, even in the middle of play.
That will never happen. Part of the game is being fit. You try to wear the other team down. You have your limited substitutions during stoppage in play or at halftime. Changing to rules of soccer in such a way would alter the very nature of the modern game, which is more than two hundred years old and goes back even further when you look at the roots of the game.
You must be very careful not to fix something that is not broken. Soccer is more popular than ever around the globe. Trying to alter the game to suit the tastes of Americans would be counterproductive. American football is the real niche sport in the world, which has little interest in it. In fact, many Americans are losing interest in it witness the number of NFL teams that are having trouble filling their staduiums. TV income and betting are the underpinnings of a sport with such limited appeal globally.
Basketball and baseball are two US orgininated sports (excluding the English game of rounders) that have garnered more international appeal. Even ice hockey has more international support. But soccer eclipses them all with every nation on the globe having a team.
FYI Ice Hockey: It is up to the coach to decide who plays and for how long. Not every player plays in every game. Certainly, the goalies don't. And other players are given very limited time depending on how many lines the coach decides to use and when in terms of the rotation and injury. Ice hockey also has breaks in the action and you can have one timeout a game.
If you want the MLS to grow the only answer is for the US to join UEFA. That means having their schedule parallel to the European season, but it would also make MLS teams eligible for the UEFA Champions League, and then they can attract big name players in their prime, instead of at the tail-end of their careers.
I’ve coached for quite awhile and have seen a number of such systems. Most of them are pretty good.
However, I’ve found that when I’m trying to teach 12-year old players the virtues of triangles on the pitch, it helps to have a Quick Time video of Barcelona doing the same thing.
Did you say something, little girl? Nope, didnt think so.
Note to self: It's been approx. 37 years since Pele' and soccer still takes a backseat to watching grass grow.............time to sell my Adidas stock.
. Yes, very.
Why, an original thought at last. What else? Soccer is "Marxist", isn't it? Pol Pot played soccer.
I'd say, having seen things in Communist countries, that cultivating this kind of ignorance is very marxist.
Keep on embracing your Marxism and organized crime, Mommie.
Soccer, mainly, has taught our kids to respect and bow down to illegitimate authority.
>> “Plus, shorten the field and get rid of that offside rule.” <<
That would remove the most important part of the game : THE MARXISM!
In any other sport moving ahead is a good thing, but in succer “it just isn’t fair.”
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