Tackling a real marketing challenge: Major League Soccer

Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer are one of the year’s big marketing success stories. An expansion team, they’ve sold every available seat and then some; they sold a huge number of season tickets; they’ve become the hot ticket in Seattle. They’ve created a compelling atmosphere inside the stadium. Paying special attention to the on-the-field product, they’ve made the playoffs and may well set even more records.

Yet Major League Soccer hasn’t enjoyed the same success everywhere.

The league has lost significant attendance in some markets, beyond what you might expect from the economic downturn. They’ve experimented with marketing plans that focus on youth soccer players, on Latinos and on young adults, with spotty results. And some of the product is, frankly, disappointing.

What type of marketing effort should the league make in this day and age?

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