MLS announces deal with Brand Thunder

mlsMajor League Soccer recently announced a new relationship with Brand Thunder to provide fans with a customized a browsing experience, “tailored specifically to them.”   The high tech browsing “booms” will allow MLS fans to access video, news, blogs and more for whatever team or teams they choose. Patrick Murphy, the founder and CEO of Brand Thunder was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with prior to the scheduled launch of the first MLS team site at the end of this month.

According to Mr. Murphy, the “beauty”  of Brand Thunder, “is that you are always connected… you can create a feed that is always updated, driving traffic back to the site.”  Traditionally, once a web user leaves or a team site, they must click back to the site to view more content. Mr. Murphy said that when using Brand Thunder, the teams/League, “become part of the browser; who cares where your fan goes…you are always connected.”

Mr. Murphy would not disclose the terms of the deal between Brand Thunder and MLS, however  when asked about individual team readiness for the Brand Thunder experience,  he stated that “because some teams are more advanced than others, you are a going to see a mix.”  As of now, Brand Thunder works only with Firefox, but according to Mr. Murphy, “we are working on an IE solution.”  However, he feels that the target demographic for Brand Thunder and MLS, “is a higher percentage Firefox user.”

Over the next couple of weeks, will be taking a look at the League’s efforts to connect with hardcore supporters.  The relationship with Brand Thunder seems like an important step in that direction.  In recent years the League has made a push towards younger demographics (and away from families), and this is typically a tech savvy group.  Moreover, because soccer struggles for coverage from mainstream media outlets, a fully integrated web experience provides a a nice opportunity for the League to connect with its fans.  computer

Women’s Professional Soccer enters into player contracts


Women’s Professional Soccer has agreed to player contracts that will guarantee National Team players a minimum of $40,000 per year.  See the official press release here.   In addition, the League set a per team, $565,000 salary cap.  The Leaguewide average salary will be about $32,000. As of now, the players are not unionized.

According to the Sports Business Journal, WPS and its players also reached an agreement providing one year of injury protection.  In addition, the agreement permits players to approve/disapprove potential marketing and image usage and sets individual fee percentages for licensing.

As opening day nears, will provide additional coverage of the WPS business model, marketing and potential for success. WPS is set to kick off its inagural season on March 29