Last month, the new MLSSoccer.com replaced the outgoing MLSsoccer.net with great fanfare, as MLS took its website in house and completely redesigned the format and content. At the start, an array of technical issues created an uproar among MLS fans unable to access stats, video and other features of the website. While the technical issues have significantly improved, many fans are still getting accustomed to the new types of articles and commentary available on the site. Presiding over the content side of the new site is Editor-in-Chief Greg Lalas. A former player in MLS, Mr. Lalas has also been a broadcaster for the New England Revolution and written for sites such as Goal.com. Mr. Lalas was kind enough to chat with footiebusiness.com about the new site, the technical issues and the content. Because of the length of the interview, we have broken it into two parts. Part I is here. Thanks to Mr. Lalas.
FB: What role will sponsors have on the site? Will we see ads for official league sponsors or other companies coming up as part of the content or clickable content on the front page?
GL: There will certainly be ads for our sponsors. With the new editorial direction and the new creation of content, we are presenting opporunties for the sponsors to be involved and sponsor the content. We have this great video feature called the debate team which is almost a spoof of Crossfire, but it will involve very serious discussion about the game. These new content things we are coming up seem to me to present an opportunity for a sponsor to be involved.
FB: How have the numbers been as far as traffic?
GL: So far we are pleased with what we have. Considering all the problems, I think we are ok…they keep going up. The site was designed to really grow traffic and engage the user, and so I think that once all of these smaller issues and a lot of the features that are still not there yet, as soon as they come on line, I’m expecting traffic to grow greatly.
FB: Have there been significantly fewer complaints about the MatchDay Live feature over the last few weeks?
GL: Yes. That is one of the things that I think is incredible about the site, the video. There have been some issues with it, but they are cleaning it up. It’s hard to beat that quality when it is working that way its supposed to. The quality on the site, I would say, is incomprable.
Thanks again to Greg Lalas for a few minutes.