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Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

Professional team gives refund for bad game

Posted by ZA on May 10, 2010

The Seattle Sounders, a US professional soccer team from the MLS, has made a bold move that very few pro organizations have ever considered.  The Sounders announced that they are going to refund their fans for a game in which they lost.  Seattle’s “humiliating” home loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday was the game that prompted the refund.  The 4-0 loss prompted Sounders players to say the fans deserved better and it appears the Sounders management agreed with them.  All Sounders season ticket holders will receive a one-game credit towards their season ticket purchase next season.

I think it’s refreshing to see a team take position.  It’s not something that most teams are able to do, but Seattle will undoubtedly benefit from this move in fan and media support.  Most of the coverage of the Sounders today is people commenting on this rare, but forward thinking, move by the team execs.  Fans have become so accustomed to just taking whatever their team serves up, that when a team goes out of their way to repay the fans, it makes us all stand up and take notice.  Kudos to the front office of the Seattle Sounders.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in Soccer | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

What is most valuable soccer team in the world?

Posted by ZA on April 22, 2010

According to Forbes, English Premiere League club Manchester United is once again the most valuable soccer club on the planet.  This is the 6th straight year that Forbes has selected Man U as the most valuable football club. Forbes assigned a value to Manchester United of $1.8 billion dollars (USD).  Below is a look at the top 20 most valuable soccer clubs in the world.

The valuation would rank Man U as the most valuable professional sports franchise in the world.  Forbes estimated the value of the New York Yankees at $1.6 billion this year and the Dallas Cowboys at $1.6 billion in 2009.  The global reach of Manchester United is a big factor in making their club more valuable than either of the US professional sports icons.

Top 20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams (2010)
1. Manchester United – $1.8 billion
2. Real Madrid – $1.3 billion
3. Arsenal – $1.1 billion
4. FC Barcelona – $1 billion
5. Bayern Munich – $990 million
6. Liverpool – $822 million
7. AC Milan – $800 million
8. Juventus – $656 million
9. Chelsea – $646 million
10. Inter Milan – $413 million
11. Schalke
12. Tottenham Hotspur
13. Olympique Lyonnais
14. Hamburg SV
15. AS Roma
16. Werder Bremen
17. Olympique Marseille
18. Borussia Dortmund
19. Manchester City
20. Newcastle United

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World Cup tickets available at Wal-Mart?

Posted by ZA on April 15, 2010

Ticket sales for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa have been sluggish according to everyone I’ve talked to.  And FIFA’s latest move aimed at getting more locals to the World Cup seems to support those opinions.  FIFA announced that tickets for the 2010 World Cup will be sold locally in South Africa at supermarkets and shopping malls.  These sales are a departure from the normal online submissions that FIFA has required and the first time they’ve allowed over-the-counter cash sales to buy tickets.

This move is great for local South African people who will now be able to purchase tickets to attend the soccer event in their home country.  Many South Africans were not able to buy tickets online or with a credit card, so this program should greatly boost local attendance at the 2010 World Cup.

No word yet on whether all 2010 World Cup tickets will be as big as this one.

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Labor battle in MLS heats up

Posted by ZA on March 16, 2010

Major League Soccer (MLS) has been an overwhelming success.  Not because it’s a stronger league than its international counterparts nor because it’s been a huge financial success, but simply because it’s still around.  Next year would be the MLS’s 15th year in business, which would bring it one year closer to tying the longevity of the previous most successful U.S. soccer league, the NASL.  The NASL was the league that featured the famous New York Cosmos teams and ran from 1968 to 1984 (16 years).

But the MLS needs to be careful because their current labor deal has the potential to end what has been an otherwise solid run.  MLS players have announced they will strike if they MLS ownership does not renew their contracts prior to the 2010 season starting on March 25th.  Now MLS ownership is delivering some major heat to those players and threatening to even “pull the plug” on the league.

AEG President Tim Leiweke came out firing when he said that a strike could “lose us (AEG)”, which has invested more than $300 million into the MLS and owns the L.A. Galaxy.  Leiweke went on to say that there were points over the past decade that AEG considered ending the league, because it isn’t a money maker, but they’ve stuck with it because they are passionate about the mission.

I’m sure this is a calculated move by AEG and Leiweke to put more pressure on the players.  AEG is deeply invested in the MLS, so I don’t see them pulling the plug any time soon.  That said, the MLS cannot afford an extended blackout from play if they want to keep their sponsors happy.  And the MLS is not in a position where they can afford to lose any sponsors, fans or other.  So let’s hope for the sake of soccer in this country, that the MLS players and ownership can agree on some issues to avoid a lengthy strike.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

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Turkish Airlines signs Man U & Barca

Posted by ZA on January 22, 2010

Someone at Turkish Airlines should be getting a pat on the back this week because they signed two huge sponsorship deals.  The airline from Turkey signed up soccer powerhouses Manchester United and Barcelona in the same week.  Man U is the most recognizable team in the English Premiere League; Turkish Airline will become Man U’s “official carrier” replacing Air Asia.  Barca is the Spanish Premiere League Champions and another of the sports brands on the globe.  Turkish Airlines should greatly increase exposure for their brand in continental Europe and around the globe with these two deals.

Posted in Soccer, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands | 1 Comment »

Is a soccer ball faster than a speeding bullet?

Posted by ZA on August 12, 2009

In the latest commercial from Adidas  soccer superstar Riquelme plays keep away with a soccer ball while two guys try to shoot it with paint balls.  Riquelme dribbles, juggles and jukes for 30 seconds while the field around him is peppered with shots.  But none of the paint balls ever touch the soccer ball and the commercial ends with Riquelme quoting a famous Maradona line about keeping the ball clean.  More the origins of that line in this AdAge story.  Below is the video:

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Soccer, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Samsung renews sponsorship of Chelsea

Posted by ZA on July 16, 2009

One of the highest visibility team sponsorships in the World was renewed for another 3 years when Samsung extended their deal with Chelsea Football Club.  Chelsea is the English Premiere League juggernaut owned by Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich.  The team has a huge following throughout the world and has a roster full of some of the most famous names in the sport, including; Michael Ballack, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien.  Chelsea won the FA Cup in 2009 and is playing a series of exhibition matches (aka: friendlies) in the United States this Summer.  Including a huge, sold out, match with Italian team, AC Milan, in Baltimore on July 24th.  These traveling tours are a great opportunity for Samsung to stretch even more value out of their sponsorship of the football club.  Chelsea has worn kits sponsored by Samsung since 2005.

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Top 10 Richest Athletes in the World

Posted by ZA on July 1, 2009

The economies of the World may be slumping, but the business of sports is still booming.  The top leagues, teams and athletes will all still be pulling in plenty of money this year.  From rich team contracts, to astronomical earnings, to lucrative endorsement deals.  There will be lots of cash pouring into the bank accounts of the top athletes in sports.   But which athletes are the richest?  Which are the top earning athletes in the World today?  CNNSI has recently released their 2009 list of the Fortunate 50, which is a list of the 50 top earning athletes in the United States.  They also published their list of the top 20 earning International athletes.  Below is a compilation of the two lists, so it is a list of the top 10 earning athletes in the World today.

Top Earning Athletes in World:
1. Tiger Woods ($99MM)
2. Phil Mickelson ($52MM)
3. David Beckham ($45MM)
4. Lebron James ($42MM)
5. Kimi Raikkonen ($40.1MM)
6. Manny Pacquiao ($40MM)
7. Lionel Messi ($39.9MM)
8. Alex Rodriguez ($39MM)
9. Fernando Alonso ($35MM)
9. Valentino Rossi ($35MM)
9. Shaquille O’Neal ($35MM)
10. Kevin Garnett ($34.7MM)


Posted in Athletes, Endorsement Deals, Golf, Money, NBA, Soccer | Tagged: , , , | 29 Comments »

Does anyone have more sponsors than Real Salt Lake?

Posted by ZA on June 12, 2009

Sponsorship deals are a way for professional sports teams to collect additional revenue, beyond ticket sales and concessions.  Large professional teams can bring in millions of dollars per year from these type of sponsorships.  But not every sponsorship deal is a revenue generator, many today are in-kind deals where a team trades sponsorship rights for services.  For example, a team might receive free, or reduced rate, airline travel by providing a sponsorship package to an airline.

These in-kind sponsorship deals are valuable for teams and the sponsors who receive them, but they are probably not going to get the same level of exposure that cash paying sponsors will receive.  But teams have plenty of sponsorship opportunities to sell, from naming rights deals on their stadium all the way down to logo inclusion in a game program.  With this plethora of opportunities to wheel and deal on trading services for sponsorships, many teams are cutting down on expenses by lining up a multitude of in-kind sponsors to cover many of their team needs (i.e.- expenses).

One professional team that is having success signing these in-kind sponsorships is Real Salt Lake.  Real is an MLS team that has deals with over 20 sponsors, with more than half of those being new for 2009.  Real Salt Lake has divided their sponsors into three categories based on dollars contributed (or traded) for their deal.  Real has landed a few sponsor partnerships which are offsetting costs associated with running a team or stadium.  Waste Management, Xinsurance, Cricket Wireless, Allied Sign and JetBlue are all sponsors of Real Salt Lake who can also provide a valuable service (in-kind) to the club.  By signing sponsors who can do that, the team can reduce their expenses.

These type of exchange of services sponsorship deals are nothing new.  In-fact I’ve traded tickets for sponsorships at events for well over a decade.  But with budgets tight in the current economy it makes a lot of sense for both teams and vendors to look into arrangements like this.

Real Salt Lake sponsorships:
Allied Sign
American First Credit Union
Burger King
Colonial Flag
Cricket Wireless
Fiji Water
Hoopes Vision
Les Olson Co
Mountain American Credit Union
Rocky Mountain Voice
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center
SCA paper
Siegfried & Jensen
Waste Management Inc
Workers Compensation Fund
Zions Bank
[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in Soccer, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Marketing, Stadium Pouring Rights, Stadium Signage, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rich fans should not buy sports teams

Posted by ZA on June 1, 2009

The owner of one of the England’s top soccer clubs is selling the team in a fire sale to recoup some of the money he’s lost.  Mike Ashley is the billionaire owner of sportswear chain, Sports Direct, who bought then EPL team Newcastle United in 2007.  Ashley paid over $200 million dollars for the football club at the time, but now is asking a mere $155 million just to rid himself of the club.

Ashley said his decision to buy Newcastle has been “catastrophic for everyone” and claims to put over $180 million dollars to square their books.  So if he is able to find a buyer at his current asking price, then his total loss will be close to a quarter of a billion dollars.  That’s what happens when a rich fan has the means to buy their favorite club; they make their decisions like a fan would and wind up paying $100 million plus per year to rent the team.

During Ashley’s time as owner, Newcastle fans have revolted at the decision to fire a popular team manager and now they have to watch as their squad gets relegated from the EPL to the lower division.  That relegation removes tens of millions of dollars off the value of the club and punishes the fan base who will now have to hope their team can soon return to the top English soccer league.

So what is Ashley’s reason for why these huge issues have befallen his club?  Ashley said he did “regret” buying the team.  He went on to say that, “I was just a fan…I never said I was an expert in football clubs.

Ashley went on to lament about how much money he has lost in this situation.  But Ashley made the decision to buy Newcastle and the mistakes that cost him that money, so he had choices in this matter.  The other, less wealthy, fans of Newcastle didn’t have a choice in this situation.  They watched a rich guy buy their favorite club, turn it inside out to the point it is now relegated; and now they have to watch him try to sell it off to whomever is willing to buy it.  Who knows what they’ll get with the next owner…things might not get better quickly.

That is why fans should not buy their favorite teams.  They will be prone to act on emotion, rather than make the sound business decisions that the team needs to stay successful.

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