The Value of Exposure: Is All Publicty Good?

There is an oft repeated sentiment that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and in American soccer circles, this worn axiom was often repeated in the wake of Grant Wahl’s revelation of the Beckham/Donovan feud.  More recently, soccer fans have been cheering the exposure generated by Devin Barclay, the former MLS journeyman now turned kicker for Ohio State. Now, the CBA negotiations are starting to drift into mainstream sports  coverage.  These are certainly not all positive stories, yet at this stage in MLS’ development, we tend to agree with the cliche, and believe that pretty much all exposure is good for MLS because it aids in all efforts to drum the existence and success of professional domestic soccer into the collective conscience.

How do you measure that exposure?  Well, through the website criticalmention.com, MLS tries to alert media  to the “value” of its presence on various television programs.  By way of example, WUSA, the DC CBS affiliate recently ran a brief story at the end of its evening sportscast about the hiring of Curt Onalfo.  According to critical mention, the story reached approximately 52,000 sets of eyeballs for a total “publicity value” of $1628.  At the same time, a longer piece on KATU news in Portland about the renovation of PGE Park reached on 2200 viewers for much smaller $174 value.  Criticalmention also reviews Spanish broadcasts and determined that  a recent story on Interliga from Univision’s New York affiliate reached 46,000 viewers for $4008 in value.

These numbers are both interesting and informative and provide some tangible basis for comparison when looking at the value of exposure in the broadcast media.  This analysis is especially important when sponsors see their names splashed across jersey fronts during highlights or signboards show their brands for prolonged periods of time.  Moreover, given that many of these broadcasts are local, references to franchises (to a partially captive audience) stress the presence of the team to the community and may remind a viewer of the intention to buy a ticket or watch a game.

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3 Responses

  1. really like this story. very interesting! as mls is growing, every dollar’s worth of exposure counts. maybe a few great scandals could elevate public interest…

  2. I disagree on there being no such thing as bad publicity. Just ask Tiger Woods.

  3. True. But Woods doesn’t need the exposure, for American Soccer, I think it it is hard to have bad exposure.

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