Not to keep bringing up olde shit but I really can't stress enough how much I love the Jaun Pablo Angel cover series that RBNY has run in The Daily News. The photo above is from today's issue and it's probably the best bit of marketing ever from an MLS club in a while, if not ever.
Everything from the mugshot to the in-your-face headline screams "tacky, 6th grade reading-level NY newspaper that is not The Times" and provides camouflage that does not tip off the reader immediately that this is a paid advertisement. Most cover wraps aren't nearly as successful at this and subsequently get as many looks as Jason Kreis has caps. This one though is executed perfectly. I think sometimes we only talk about what is wrong with things and not what is right so I wanted to start out the day on a positive note.
So with that in mind I shall now embark on a semi-unfocused rant about marketing. Feel free to turn away now.
More of this is needed in the league; not necessarily print ads, but more marketing aimed at adults (like the Adidas Represent campaign). Don't get me wrong...I'm in the Whitney Houston "I believe that children are our future" camp but what other sports league in the world is so focused/dependent on group sales to youth teams? Not the PGA, not the NBA, not even the WNBA.
Ever since the Canucks came into the league there has been a lot of talk about the "atmosphere" in Toronto. Next time you go to BMO Field or watch them on TV note the makeup of the crowd. Now I've only seen about 7 games of theirs on TV but I have not seen many crowd shots showing groups of precocious youngsters all decked out in their matching Dragons U-10's kits. At most MLS games the only thing that outnumbers the youth teams is the empty seats.
That place rocks because it is mostly full of adults. Young adults and soon-to-be pensioners alike. Beer drinking dudes with their buddies and their ladies out for a day at the ball game, just like you see at an NFL or MLB game. But for whatever reason there seems to be a schism (and as Ferris Bueller once said "isms in general are bad") between catering to the kids or to adults.
Perhaps a lot of this boils down to the game day experience. Many people are sensitive to having children's ears infected with the vile sounds of pissed up supporters, and as a parent I honestly get that. But have you ever been to a Jets, Red Sox, Raiders, or Mets game? It's just as bad if not worse but no one seems too concerned, chalking it up to the game day experience (seriously, the Eagles had fucking jail at the Vet..they are that buck wild in PA!).
So why is it different for soccer? Is it because America has somehow managed to turn the sport of the people into the sport of the privileged, who's youth must be shielded at all cost? Is it because the powers that be are reluctant to change tactics? Or maybe (and hopefully I am wrong about this) they aren't sure how to reach the mainstream?
These are just 3 of the many half-baked theories I have. The action in the comments has been heating up lately so let's see if we can keep that fire burning; tell me what kind of marketing you think they should be doing or what you think of the youth/adult fan divide or if you think I'm full of it.