With First Kick on the horizon, we thought we would offer our first look around the world of MLS promotions for the new season. But first, a quick criticism of the league. We know that the transition to MLSsoccer.com is underway, but the league has seriously ignored mlsnet.com. Last year’s standings are still featured and no schedule of opening weekend is on the front page (in fact the front page still features the 2009 championship). The fantasy game hasn’t been updated and last season’s goal scorers are still on the front page.
On to the promotions! Chivas is promoting its Friday night opener by offering mini-soccer balls to the first 7,500 fans through the gate. Perhaps more impressively, Chivas is offering a 4 ticket pack to the opener that includes 4 hot dogs, 4 hats and 4 tickets to the second home game of the season…all for $58. Chivas was one of the most aggressive teams with respect to promotions last year and it appears they are moving in the same direction in 2010.
In Colorado, the Rapids are promoting their annual Rapids week, a 10 day series of public events leading to the home opener. The events include an extremely creative idea, “a weeklong city-wide scavenger hunt, as the Rapids hide adidas Jabulani Rapids soccer balls in secret locations around the Denver metro area. Fans will be given clues to the balls’ location through the Rapids’ social media sites as to where to find them. Fans who discover the balls will not only get to keep their Jabulani but also find a note attached with a secret code to be able to redeem online for the chance to win tickets to Opening Day and have their ball signed by the Man of the Match down on the field!”
In Columbus, the Crew are promoting a first kick package that includes opening day tickets and a free scarf.