Goal.com provides this excellent piece about fan loyalty programs. Written by Chris Savino, the piece looks at the loyalty outreach efforts offered by teams like the Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids. The article touches on the Tottenham program that allows fans to earn reward points for purchases made with the club. Fans and Philly can also earn rewards for their behavior (i.e. by showing up early, attending all the games, etc…. For our interviews with front office personell in Philly and Colorado from last year, click here and here. We think these programs make great business sense for the teams. Anything that increases the strength of the bond between teams and their fans is a great concept.
We’ve long identified Puma for its relationship with WPS as the league’s presenting and primary sponsor. The company is also involved in the Total Club Concept which offers youth clubs in the US the opportunity to train with prominent clubs around the world. Most recently, a youth team from South Carolina had the opportunity to train with Tottenham Hotspur of the EPL. Puma provided a camera crew to follow the team. The video is here.
Finally, we have long extolled the importance of video games as a mechanism to spread the popularity of MLS. Soccer has long been one of the easier sports to translate into video games (along with hockey and football), and thus millions of American males will dutifully purchase the game regardless of whether they know anything about soccer. Often the less the players know about soccer, the more likely they are to play with teams from Major League Soccer (many soccer fans migrate to the EPL). As a result, it is these fans that may embrace the teams and players from MLS. Unfortunately, the latest release of Pro Evolution Soccer does not include MLS teams. The game is popular and the absence of the league is a loss for MLS.