More Seattlish stuff...
(First, apologies, if you just flew over from Twitter based upon a certain Megan Fox tweet that bent the truth. This is, afterall, a piece on marketing. Read on friend for the connector.)
A great tweet on Sunday for MLS: 64,140 people watched Seattle beat San Jose in MLS this weekend. Only Barcelona, Real Madrid & Bayern had bigger crowds.
That’s impressive. Whether it was in Seattle or not.
MLS did a great job of playing up both the crowd expected in Seattle for the match as well as Kasey Keller’s last regular season game at home.
It got me thinking to a few other ideas that might work to help raise MLS’s profile–mind you the marketing group at MLS headquarters is doing a great job of it already. (Seriously, what other league in the States has chalkboards, gets highlights and polls up in real-time and actively courts rivalry.)
» Work the LA connections and have MLS featured in a cool flick
Invincible. Who's the MLS Papale? Justin Braun?
Something similar here to The Natural or Invincible.
Not like, say, Fever Pitch or Major League–though the Major League theme might work there up in Beantown with the Revs. One major problem.
Not sure if you can have a cutout of Robert Kraft in the locker room and gradually remove his garments and unmentionables.
The movie thing has worked wonders for companies like Motorola who cited their “movie placement-management” in the 1990′s as one their keys to success for their Razr mobile phone. (Hard to find a contemporary Motorola phone in the movies these days.)
There is a precedent here for footie as well.
The “Goal” trilogies. Goal made a sound business decision by taking a Mexican star, “Santi” and interspersing Euro stars like Raul and Puyol in the flick. The “Goal” movie (and there are two after it in the series) made $5M in the United States, but $27M internationally at the box office.
So here’s how you, um, flip the script.
Take the inverse.
Take an English player who comes over to the States (not Andy Iro, can’t be a defender). He makes the choice because….because…his mother needs a special treatment that can only be done in a hospital in…in…Kansas City–the customary BBQ, steer, middle American stereotype montage can take up a few minutes and also provide a sponsorship opportunity.
Giggs the Elder would be perfect.
Then add in an aging nearly-over-the-hill Euro star. While Thierry Henry would work here, go for some new blood–the wise sage of an old #10 who plays possession, maybe Ryan Giggs.
Yes! Who–in Europe–wouldn’t at least think about watching a movie with a Giggs appearance. Reality star or no reality star, the Giggs brand still brings a sense of aristocracy and inspiration.
Now invent a fictional rule that allows MLS to have a team play in the European Champion’s League and Ryan Giggs and Joe European go up against Manchester United in the big game.
You’ll have to buy a ticket to see what happens here.
I like it.
» The Brek Shea Pizza
Shea, the new torchbearer...
The MLS needs to put some marketing muscle behind a new, young star. One who is uniquely American, plays everyday, and can score.
That’s Brek Shea.
Yes, the whole health issues thing on pizza, but how about this: Every “something-th” pizza box–by Pizza Hut of course–there is are free ticket(s) on the inside of the box.
And…and….and they’re not sold in Dallas. (So the Dallas folks who actually do go to don’t buy up boxes for tickets.)
They’re sold at every other non-Texas stadium. New cities learn about this mythical gargantuan of a left winger in Brek Shea who will continue to get exposure on the international level and MLS gets more new fans, perhaps, to go to games. Oh and Pizza Hut feels a lot better about their MLS sponsorship.
The pizza becomes a test case for other products. Like Dax McCarty Pale Ale.
» Open up the data, everything to developers — no brainer.
If I did this cheesy graph in 20 seconds on Excel--showing playoff likelihood by month of the Red Bulls vs. the Fire--imagine what a smart person could do.
Opta data is great and MLS did a fantastic job of using their data and chalkboards on the MLS Soccer web site.
Now for that nerd alert part.
MLS makes all the data it can–MLS proprietary data, Opta data–available to developers through an API to come up with stats like, “In 80% of the New York Red Bulls wins Rafa Marquez ran less than 22 feet.”
Or, “Teal Bunbury’s shooting percentage on his left foot against a team wearing white jerseys is 10 times better than what it is when he shoots on his right foot against a team wearing dark kits. And check this out, it’s 20 times when it’s a weekday game.” Okay, maybe not the last part.
However, by opening up the site, data, platform to developers, free content is created. Developers love to tell their friends about the cool thing they did in just two hours using this strut
» Bring celebrities (read: “hot chicks”) to the
Another no-brainer here.
With MLS coming to NBC, you’re probably going to see a little of it anyway.
But seriously, there are sometimes decent celebrity camera shots during MLS games. Usually they are of a Euro star or MLS official or Drew Carey.
However, let’s plant some serious stars in stands, especially up in Portland–maybe put them in some Portland garb as well.