Commercial Success: The Simple Solution That Could Save MLS

Major League Soccer is failing on a national level. According to the Nielsen ratings, Major League Soccer is nearly non-existent on television. The WNBA is getting higher ratings on ESPN2 than MLS games! The only thing more laughable than the TV ratings is the fact that MLS asked Fox Soccer Channel to renew their expiring contract at a rate of $20 million per year. The previous contract, signed in 2007, had FSC paying $3 million a year. MLS executives seem to be shooting for the stars without any idea how to get there. They are focused on business negotiations and traditional marketing techniques but, with those approaches failing miserably, maybe they should take a look at the product on the field and how it is affecting their negotiations. Simply put, they should be trying to create stars instead of shooting for the stars. So, the obvious question is then, "How exactly do you create stars?" And my response, "Don't ask me. Just look at the most successful sports league (and one of the most successful business ventures) in modern history." In last Sunday's Jets/Patriots game, the only athlete in the world prettier than Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady, was trying to lead his Pats to a furious comeback late in the fourth ...
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