Taking the reins from Jeff Bull over at It's a Simple Game, I'm here today to invite soccer bloggers one and all to take part in the Sixth and latest installment of the Carnival of American Soccer!
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is as follows:
You've just been handed the plum position of MLS Marketing Director. MLS regular attendance (as I'm sure you know) reached its peak in the launch year of 1996. Since 2000, attendance has been relatively flat (thanks, Kenn):
Many of the tickets that your clubs sell or distribute go unused, creating unfilled stadiums that don't look so good during national TV broadcasts, which will increase next year with new ESPN and Univision contracts. The growing number of intimate, soccer-specific stadiums, has not produced a significant attendance boost.
Your commissioner has said that your three target market groups are, in order of priority:
-Youth soccer players and families
-"Core soccer fans"
Without changes to the league structure or season (i.e. single table, no playoffs, etc. etc.), and with a reasonable but not unlimited marketing budget, what will you do to give MLS the "cool factor" that will ensure an attendance increase next season and beyond?
Being the benevolent carny that I am, I'm giving you until Monday, November 6th to have your submission ready. Maybe a brave soul who'll be attending the Supporters Summit in Frisco can deliver our rantings to the MLS brass there. Can't wait to see what we come up with.