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Volume 23 No. 14
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MetroStars set up alliance for clients

The New York/New Jersey MetroStars are creating the MetroStars Business Alliance, which will encompass a variety of new and existing MetroStars-themed initiatives designed to give the team's corporate clients opportunities to network with each other.

The Major League Soccer team will announce the formation of alliance at its first-ever Corporate Client Recognition Luncheon, set to take place Oct. 23 at a restaurant in Rochelle Park, N.J. Mark Washo, the MetroStars' vice president of ticket programs, said the club has sent invitations to representatives from each of its 250-plus season-ticket-buying corporate clients, a group that includes team sponsors.

According to Washo, the idea behind the MetroStars Business Alliance is to create a kind of "mini-chamber of commerce" that could help foster business relationships among the club's corporate partners.

Next year, the team will publish a directory that includes contact information on all the MetroStars' corporate clients, making the book available only to those companies. Additionally, the club plans to make the Corporate Client Recognition Luncheon an annual gathering.

Previously, the MetroStars have published a newsletter aimed at the team's corporate partners, though it has been published only sporadically, Washo said. But beginning next year, the plan is to publish monthly, delivering the newsletter via fax and e-mail.

The club will continue to play host each season to three pregame corporate-networking events at Giants Stadium, the MetroStars' current home. Each gathering, held on a weekday, gets under way about 90 minutes before the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

This season, the team also held a get-together for its corporate clients at a sports bar in Jersey City, N.J. Starting next year, the MetroStars probably will hold two such gatherings, Washo said.

Potentially, the opportunity exists for the MetroStars to seek an overall sponsor for the business alliance. There have been no formal discussions about that, Washo said, and he wouldn't speculate as to what the cost of such a sponsorship might be.