Business Bits: Marketing in Seattle

soundersWe’ve posted before about how Seattle seems to be doing almost everything right in the lead up to its inaugural MLS season.  The Sounders  have now upped the ante with a bit of “guerrilla marketing” around the Emerald City. Park benches, statues and more have been covered with Sounders gear. The pictures definitely are worth looking at.

Remarkably, this is all part of the Sounders’ Scarf Seattle Campaign.  The team is encouraging fans to show their support while getting some free marketing in the bargain.  Add in their oustanding billboard campaign, and the team certainly gives the appearance of doing a great job  getting the city and its fans excited about the MLS season.

Other clubs really need to “go to school” on what Seattle is doing.  While it is true that Seattle is starting from the ground level and thus can experiment a bit, the franchise is working hard to get an entire city excited about soccer.  The other teams need to take a long look at what is going on the Pacific Northwest and give some creative marketing a try.

Elsewhere, expansion talk keeps heating up, with Jeffrey Cooper, the head of the St. Louis bid, expressing confidence to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.   Since the Miami bid faltered, fans have been guessing that Portland and Vancouver are next in line for 2011.  Don’t forget St. Louis.  While the League has long been nervous about Cooper’s ability to bring big money to the table, he has a strong stadium deal already in place.

In Portland, a city commission organized to review the MLS bid gave cautious approval to Merritt Paulson’s plan to bring a team to PGE Park.  Meanwhile, in Ottawa, proponents of MLS and the CFL continue to bicker about stadiums and funding. pge