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Soccer Business Bits: SUM Losing Mexico?, WPS All Star & More

Just some quick hitters today.  First, the Sports Business Journal is reporting that SUM’s rights to its second biggest property, its contract to represent the Mexican Football Federation in the United States, is set to expire at the end of the year.  The FMF relationship has been a cash cow for SUM (and by extension MLS).  According to SBJ, competitors for the valuable FMF rights have offered more than seven figures annually along with revenue sharing for the opportunity to promote and sell a team that can draw six figures attendance against any opponent.  In the past, SUM has used its relationship with FMF and FIFA to leverage relationships with MLS.  The loss of FMF could be a big loss for SUM and its investors.

In WPS news, the league announced that it would showcase its soccer specific stadium in Atlanta on June 30, 2010 with its second annual all star game.  The United States Coasat Guard is the presenting sponsor and the match will be televised  live on FSC. In a unique twist, the captains and coaches for the game will “choose up” sides in a broadcast event prior to the game.

In DC, Steve Goff is reporting that DC United is continuing the off season trend of signing academy products to the senior team.  Andy Najar joins keeper Bill Hamid to fill United’s second academy graduate spot.  Importantly, Najar has been signed to a Generation Adidas deal ensuring that he will be able to puruse a college education if professional soccer doesn’t work out for the 17 year old. Over the last year, teams have been aggressive in signing their academy products, a great sign for MLS and the future of American soccer.  Unfortunately, with the suspension of the reserve league, query whether these young players will get enough game action to stay sharp.