Closing the Book

There comes a time in every blog’s life when you have to say “goodbye.”  For Footiebusiness, now seems like that moment.  After more than five years, more than a thousand posts and hundreds of thousands of views, this labor of love has run its course.   With three kids, a 50+ hour work week and soccer teams to coach, I can no longer devote the time necessary to keep the site fresh and full of the content my readers expect and my standards require. If you keep reading to the bottom, I promise the requisite navel gazing, but if nothing else, I want to offer a round of thanks to the willing interview subjects, patient journalists, responsive PR professionals, and of course, the wonderful readers. It was an intoxicating feeling to discover that so many share my affinity for MLS and devotion to the business side of the beautiful game.  Your comments, e-mails and most of all your devoted reading of the site, made Footiebusiness the life changing experience it has been.

soccer-ball.jpgFootiebusiness will continue in Twitter form, the medium I believe most suited to how soccer fans consume information.  The website will live on, frozen, hopefully providing a time capsule of the progress of American soccer from 2009-2014.  And the if the urge strikes, and a particularly riveting subject matter arises or there is an interview opportunity I just can’t pass up, I will post it here and link to it through Twitter, but for now, the site is closed.

Once again, thank you.

Read on if you like, the rest is just my effort to create permanent memories of what this site meant.

More than five years ago I sat at my computer with my wife out at a work event and my 2 year old sleeping.  It was a spur of the moment effort and in that first night I covered Panasonic’s relationship with MLS and Beckham’s dalliance with AC Milan.  The rest of the week saw stories about the Red Bulls’ television rights deals, the possibility of expansion to Portland and a look at television ratings.  That first week was pretty representative of what the next five plus years would become.

My intention was to write about the “intersection of soccer and money by examining the sponsorships, contracts, labor agreements and financing that are an integral part of the sport we love.”  Footiebusiness met those goals, but site became so much more than that. We interviewed players, executives, authors, league officials, journalists, marketing professionals and more.  In American soccer’s dynamic landscape, expansion, stadium construction, marketing efforts, jersey deals, youth soccer, life after soccer, gambling and fantasy all became fair game for a soccer business website.  Over the years, the business stories became more mainstream, but we managed to carve out a little niche that kept readers coming back and provided an endless supply of material.

Over the years, I was blessed to connect with so many people from teams, the league, journalists, fans and bloggers who provided guidance, assistance and conversation.   When I sat down that first night, I never imagined that Footiebusiness would be a five year project that would find me on the field before a national team game, in the locker room after an All-Star Game, in press boxes around MLS, on the radio, teaching a law school class about soccer and business law and having an absolutely glorious time.

It has been a great ride and a fantastic time.

Thank you so much.

 

Ben

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15 Responses

  1. I haven’t been here for all five years, but I have enjoyed the site totally. Thanks for the good works and come back some day

  2. Thanks for creating the Footie Business website Ben. I also love MLS and love reading stories about the progress of the league. Especially the new stadium reports.

    Keep up the great work. I’ll follow you on Twitter.

  3. Good morning Ben: So sorry to see your news about shutting down the blog I don’t think that I have to say that you’ll be sorely missed around these parts. I’ve only been here a littlle over year or so, but I’ve found your reporting to be among the very best in the business. Best of luck to you and your family in all of your future endeavors! Go USA and maybe someday we’ll even win the WC and please know that you definitely played your role in making that happen! Sincerely, Marc S.

  4. Ben, you quietly built one of the best blogs in the business of sports. Footiebusiness is remarkable for the quality of its content and the consistency that you displayed over 5 years. Great work! Here is a link to CT Sports Law’s “Farewell to Footiebusiness” http://ctsportslaw.com/2014/03/26/farewell-to-footiebusiness/

  5. You will be missed. Great job, Ben!

  6. Thanks and good luck! I enjoyed coming here several times a week

  7. Good run. Turn out the lights the party’s over all good things must come to an end.

    Deserved break!

  8. Ben, thank you for your tireless effort over the years to maintain this website, and to provide a forum for those of us interested in the business side of the sport.

  9. Thanks for all your hard work. I’ve enjoyed your posts since finding the site 3 years ago. Best of luck to you going forward.

  10. Thanks for all the work over the years!

    Any other Sports finance sites you would recommend?

    I only of this site and swiss ramble

  11. Thanks everyone for the kind words. Not sure of other sites that I would recommend, but the information is pretty mainstream now.

  12. Sorry to see this site end! One of my favorite reads and a true loss. In a sea of tabloid journalism you provided an oasis of interesting topics in an informative way. Good luck with the kids and family!

  13. First it was IMS that went, now its Footiebusiness. You have done excellent work and I’ll miss your blog

  14. Thanks for putting in the time the past year Ben! I found your blog about 3 years ago and used it as a way to track attendance happily on its upward trend (: I eventually grew to come to your site for anything business related on the league because I valued your opinion on whatever the business topic was. I will miss your insight but certainly understand as a father of an 8 & 6 years old. these years are very special. Enjoy them and I hope to see you back at it someday!

  15. Sorry. My post should have read….

    Thanks for putting in the time the past 5 years Ben! I found your blog about 3 years ago and used it as a way to track attendance happily on its upward trend (: I eventually grew to come to your site for anything business related on the league because I valued your opinion on whatever the business topic was. I will miss your insight but certainly understand as a father of an 8 & 6 years old. These years are very special. Enjoy them and I hope to see you back at it someday!

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