Here are some scattered business thoughts on the MLS All Star Hub and other items from Major League Soccer’s descent on New York. The Hub itself is set in a swanky SoHo building decorated with a clubby feel. Most of the league sponsors are represented through various themed booths in the Hub that offer an array of interactive events. There is foosball, video games, a pub and more. There are also retail sales, product demonstrations and a large number of staff attirred in gear branded with the logos and marks of the league sponsors.
Unfortunately, the Hub wasn’t particularly well attended by the public. While some folks did wander in and out on their lunch break, most of the exhibits were lightly used. Because the Hub also serves as the media credentialing center, there were plenty of journalists wandering around as well as MLS Staff. There was a fair amount of advertising for the All Star Game and Hub in the surrounding neighborhood, including at the nearby Sheraton. The moment that generated the most excitement was the arrival of the MLS team bus, specificall, the arrival of David Beckham. Attached to the HUB was space reserved for a press conference given by both teams.
As part of the week’s festivities, MLS All-Stars and executives, Manchester United executives and Sir Bobby Charlton will join forces with representatives of various other organizations to construct the Splash House Pavilion in New York. According to the league press release, volunteers will spend the day painting, cleaning and raising the pavilion while academy coaches from the New York Red Bulls and the Claudio Reyna Foundation conduct a clinic for approximately 100 local children.
There was a also a penalty kick event in Herald Square, a reception hosted by the Mayor and a training session by the MLS All-Stars. The MLS All-Star team and hundreds of fans in New York City now hold the world record for the most penalty kicks taken.