Over the course of the season we interviewed a number of MLS marketing execs, COOs and more. Check out this interview with Alex Gallegos of Chivas and click through the links to see some of our other chats. Did MLS teams accomplish their marketing goals? Judge for your self.
In a year in which most MLS teams are struggling at the gate, one of the success stories has been Chivas USA. According to these numbers, Chivas attendance is up more than 6%. As part of our ongoing interview series with MLS marketing personell, we had an opportunity to chat with Alex Gallegos, the Chivas USA Director of Marketing. Mr. Gallegos is a graduate of Pepperdine University. He has spent time as Manager of Street Promotions for DMG Records and more recently, the Director of Promotions for KFWB 980 Dodgers Radio Baseball Netork and NFL Radio Network Los Angeles. Since 2004 he has been the Diretor of Marketing for Chivas USA.
Thanks to Mr. Gallegos. Please check out some of our other interviews with MLS marketing executives including Davy Ratchford, Director of Marketing for RSL, Dynamo Senior VP Rocky Harris, Revolution COO Brian Bilello and Kansas City VP of Marketing and Communications Rob Thomson.
Footiebusiness.com: What is Chivas doing differently for marketing in 2009? How has the economy changed/impacted those efforts?
Alex Gallegos: We have instituted a ton of different programs either marketing, community or sales based, they are as follows:
All You Can eat Section
Stimulus mini- 5 game plan
Practices in the Community
Partnerships with the City of Hope, Special Olympics and the American Lung Association
School of the game
Band of the game
Family and kids packs
All aimed at community involvement, affordable entertainment and fan development
FB: In 2009, many teams in MLS seem to be struggling at the gate. Yet Chivas seems to be doing quite well, and to date, numbers appear to better than last year. To what to you attribute that success?
AG: A stronger market presence, diversified advertising avenues
A sales dept that is more veteran and versed in the soccer sales ways
Leadership from our CEO Shawn Hunter
A great team that makes it easy to highlight what we do on the field and off
A stronger presence in the community
Great media and corporate partners
FB: How have Chivas utilized online avenues such as social networking sites, SUM’s new online ad network, etc… to market the team? Do you find that these efforts increase interest in Chivas or impact attendance?
AG: We have had or launched myspace, facebook, txt message, viral video and online ad programs. We are analyzing twitter and launched mychivasusa.com all to give our fans a better place to congregate, tell more fans and spread our word for us. It is helping little by little.
FB: What unique challenges does Chivas face as one of two teams in Los Angeles? Most teams just compete against teams in other sports, while Chivas must compete against the Galaxy in their own stadium. How do you deal with the further segmenting of the potential MLS fan base?
AG: We simply identify what makes us Chivas and let the consumer make the choice, we’re not trying to make anyone chose a side, we’re open to anyone that likes soccer, that likes entertainment or that wants a fun environment and experience for their family. We touch on things like our game atmosphere, price affordability, access to our players, community programs, customer service etc…
FB: Is it inconsistent/challenging for teams to target “hard core” supporters, non-soccer sports fans and families? How do you resolve those inconsistencies/challenges?
AG: We make a lot of invites, we have a lot of guests that we invite to our games on us. We do this so that they can experience our games and make the decision to come back on their own, more often then not they love our games and really are receptive to coming back and telling their friends. Were building fans through multiple programs, one fan at a time.