TSG is usually not one to comment secondarily on reporting.
In this case, we’ll make an exception.
Multiple news outlets this morning attributed the following quotes to Sunil Gulati in a press conference earlier today.
The first, on the Yanks missed chance to advance versus Ghana and what it means for the great good of “US Soccer:”
“It is also a missed opportunity to stay in the American public’s eyes for another four, five six days, maybe 10 days, when interest is at an all-time high. I have no doubt there will be people still watching at bars at strange times, the TV ratings will still be good, but what the ratings might have been for a quarterfinal game or dreaming beyond that. We clearly caught something in the last few weeks that we haven’t seen before. The job is to try to hold on to some part of that.”
The second paraphrased:
The USA has no plans to participate in the 2011 Copa America in Argentina.
“I think it ultimately comes down to players,” he said. “The expectations have to be realistic. The players that are representing the U.S. are not players at Arsenal and Inter and Real Madrid and Barcelona and Chelsea and Manchester United and so on. The players we were playing against in some of these situations are.”
To this writer, these three statements should be reviewed.
Let’s address the first two together.
On the surface, “marketing” is very simple. It’s about three things: Positivity of “signal” (“Landon Donovan scores the game winner against Algeria”), Strength of “signal” (The US were robbed versus Slovenia–more newspapers cried injustice than ever before) and Frequency of “signal” (The more games played at the World Cup level the better.)
While I sympathize with Gulati’s statement about the greater–and casual–public watching another Yanks’ match in the quarters–the positivity and strength of the signal would have been there–I think Gulati is certainly taking the wrong tone here in that commentary.
It’s quite an illusion to think that one mere additional game of the World Cup will almost in and of itself spur soccer on and send a message of pity thereafter.
To follow, the best way to reinforce the mostly positive signal that came out of South Africa is to play more high value tournaments within a short period of the World Cup’s close. That’s “frequency.”
Mexico and Japan join host Argentina at the 2011 Copa America. If I’m managing the United States–and rumors are the Yanks weren’t invited because they sent more of a “B” or even “C” squad back in 2007–I’m finding a way into that tournament that runs from during the same timing at the Gold Cup to face the same quality brand competition that enticed US fans during the World Cup.
Think about, what if Argentina wins the World Cup?