The Business of Selling Online: MLS & WPS

Merchandise sales are an enormous component of revenue for professional sports leagues.  At the same time, apparel provides an outstanding free source of league exposure and advertising. Over the next few weeks, we thought we would take  a look at how various domestic soccer leagues and franchises sell their clothes and gear.  Today, we will start with a l0ok at how MLS and WPS sell material via their websites, http://www.mlsnet.com and womensprosoccer.com.  Other posts will look at licensed retailers online and the advertising of MLS and WPS merchandise.

The MLS website offers two obvious gateways to apparel sells on the home page.  There is a “shop” tab at the top of the page and a larger logo for “MLS Gear”.  Clicking on MLS Gear brings you to a sales homepage offering links to each team and a number of other links to various forms of merchandise grouped in a number of different ways. Items are also sorted by gender and by type.   The “shop” tab provides many of the same options in a dropdown format, while clicking on the tab sends an user to same location as the “gear” page.  The page also provides a box dedicated to RSL championship apparel and other items.  Further clicks through the page provide featured items.  Prices team by team are essentially the same for equal items.

The WPS site also offers a tab titled “shop” that brings you into a “shopwsp.com” where items are categorized by team and type in a fairy easy to follow arrangement.  Seemingly all WPS items are deeply discounted with prices of around 50% for most.  Interestingly, almost every page on the WPS site is filled with full price Puma gear.  While Puma is the primary sponsor of the League it is somewhat distressing that the bulk of items sold on the WPS are generic Puma items.

Both sites allow users to proceed to checkout in a fairly simply fashion and provide typically shopping cart and wish list items.  We know that there have historically been complaints about MLSGear and the ability to timely deliver goods, however those problems have dramatically improved over the last couple of years.

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4 Responses

  1. […] In MLS, the 2010 jerseys are also for sale, with the adidas jerseys now offered through the league website.  Long sleeve versions are featured and the Philly uniform (that had previously been revealed) is one of the offerings.  MLS is also promoting its new adidas match ball.  For more on the two leagues’ efforts to sell product through its website, click here. […]

  2. […] post looked at sales through official websites for the leagues and teams.  You can view that post here.  Today, we will take a look at third party sellers of MLS […]

  3. […] post looked at sales through official websites for the leagues and teams.  You can view that post here.  We then took a look at third party sellers of soccer merchandise.  Today, we will take a look […]

  4. […] like bad business to us.  Tell us about your experiences with these shops?  Positive? Negative?  Here is our story from January, 2010 about shopping online for soccer […]

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