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.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Real soccer fans are more interested in the EPL and the big Euro Leagues than the MLS.....watching the MLS is like watching a Single-A baseball game.
I don’t think it would be hard to eclipse hockey. I think dodge ball could do that.
As far as basketball? I don’t think I’d like to see that happen. At least with basketball the total number of thugs is pretty much limited to those on the court. In soccer you could have 25 or 30 thousand of them in the stands.
Yep. A bunch of my friends are rabid fans of Real Madrid lol
BWAAAAA! I played soccer in high school. It’s fun to play, but boring as hell to watch. I was lazy, so I chose to play goalie. Man! was that a mistake! I got the cr@p kicked outa me! But at least I wasn’t running up and down the field like a maniac,
The only sport more boring than basketball is soccer. Fatal injuries in soccer can be caused by a feather dropping on someones head from a pigeon.
I am convinced that most goals scored are pure luck.
More cash flow won’t do a thing to make soccer sensible.
Is the NBA about to fold? I believe that is what it would take.
Is soccer boring? Never heard that before.
By comparison, sure. But as a youth coach, there's something I can learn from watching all of them.
This article makes it sound like $200 million is some huge investment in professional sports. Heck, Nike probably has paid one single retired basketball player (Michael Jordan) more than $200 million ll by himslf. $200 million is less than the top two American team hockey players’ contracts (Ovechkin and Yashin).
Oh, and it is not hard to have greater attendance per game with fewer games, fewer teams, and OUTDOOR stadiums versus indoor courts and rinks.
On the basis of per game attendance, NASCAR is probably the biggest spectator sport in the country, but that doesn’t even get mentioned by CBS, who thinks that soccer should be called American football. They better watch it, since CBS gets its top ratings these days from the NFL, and Fox’s turning point competitively came when they outbid CBS for NFC games.
I can’t wait for the next few weeks, who will win between City and United, who gets 3rd and 4th, and who will avoid the drop.
I hope Spurs can make it, Brad Friedel is still a stud in goal.
And I am really interested to see in the off-season if Clint Dempsey will go to Arsenal, that is what I am hearing......you are going to start seeing more and more Americans making it big in Europe.
Why is soccer continuosly pushed on us? There is no real market for the game in this country. We are a Football, Baseball, and Basketball(in that order) fanbase. Hockey to a smaller degree. Soccer cannot compete in the US market. In the words of my man Jim Rome “Soccer sucks, and we suck at soccer”.
Is it football season yet?
I can totally believe this. The immigration ( legal and illegal ) factor is coming into play by marketeers. Soccer is big everywhere but in the USA. As more immigrants come to the US the fan base in soccer will grow. It’s a slow growth market but it’s only going to get bigger and bigger. It’s pretty cheap to buy into it now and gain an edge over the late comers. Adidas is making a very smart move.
Looking at the other major sports markets in this country , it seems their markets are stagnant or shrinking. Why is that?....
Were I Czar, and I mean a real Czar and not a wimpy Obama czar, I would ban soccer and issue all the kids playing it lacrosse gear, making it the official alternate Spring sport to those who don’t want to play baseball. Lacrosse has everything soccer does not - it has scoring, contact, action, and it requires opposable thumbs.
Hockey may never be popular as a "mainstream" sport, but that's fine. It's a "cult" sport that happens to be the best sport out there!
I see a lot of people even here in Dallas wearing Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United jerseys now.
MLS teams just don’t have enough tradition....that’s why the smartest thing the MLS could do is resurrect the Cosmos franchise in New York...what the MLS misses is real rivalries.
Having lived in Fort Lauderdale in the late 70s, I remember the rivalry with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, made Yankees-Red Sox look like nothing.