Phil Jackson Talks LeBron, Marijuana Use White Believes MMAAA Made Mistake With Rebney USL Rowdies Owner Campaigns To Join MLS Sources: NHL, Union Could Continue Bye Weeks NFLPA Launches New Business Accelerator MLS Cup Sells Out In Three Minutes Sources: '17-18 NBA Season To Start Earlier Manfred: CBA Will Promote Competitive Balance NHL Stands By Concussion Protocol Titans, Browns Allowed To Wear Special Cleats
SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies
USA TODAY LOOKS AT MLS' TARGET MARKETING OF ETHNIC GROUPS
Published March 3, 1998
"More than any other professional sports league, MLS targets ethnic audiences, especially Hispanics, the USA's fastest-growing minority population," according to USA TODAY's Peter Brewington. Brewington: "Winning remains the top priority, but in the critical game of putting fans in seats, assigning international stars to maximize their ethnic appeal is a close second." Analysts say it's a reason MLS has had "a successful start-up." But Brewington adds that while "such a strategy ensures teams a front row of passionate fans, it also might work against the league in perpetuating the image of soccer in the USA as a 'foreign' game." Revolution GM Brian O'Donovan: "We need to concentrate our crowd-building effort on the general population." Hispanics account for 23% of MLS fans, and while league marketing officials "admit it's hard to tell if their player deployments actually are working," analysts say the ethnic marketing approach is a "sound" one. Dean Bonham of CO-based The Bonham Group: "The Hispanic market is lower- to middle-income right now, but can be described as a soccer-educated demographic with spendable income that's growing at a very rapid rate" (USA TODAY, 3/3). YOUNG GUNS: Project 40, the joint venture between MLS and the U.S. Soccer Federation, "took a major step last week toward putting" young U.S. players in a "professional environment almost year round." U.S. Soccer and MLS have "arranged for a Project 40 select team to compete" in the A- League, the "main breeding ground" for MLS teams and the for the U.S. World Cup team (Alex Yannis, N.Y. TIMES, 3/3).