Soccer Business Bits: Jersey Sales, Another Friendly & More

Multiple sources are reporting that Thierry Henry’s Red Bulls jersey is expected to become MLS’  best seller this year.  According to reports, more than 50k Henry jerseys will be sold this year.  Assuming $75 per jersey, that works out to almost $4million in jersey sales gross.  By way of comparison, 300,000 Beckham jerseys were sold in the first year after he joined the league.  Nevertheless, 50k is a big number in jersey sales (Beckham’s 300k was far ahead of all other American sports stars), and is an impressive haul for the the Red Bulls and MLS in the less than two months since his signing.  According to SBJ, adidas MLS merchandise sales are up almost 20% this year thanks to Henry, Marquez and Donovan sales.  According to the article, novelty sales (e.g. pins, cards, etc…) have seen significant increases this year.

In Seattle, the Sounders have announced a foreign friendly against Chivas in October.  As we have said many times on this blog, friendlies against club teams from other nations serve a valuable purpose for MLS and the visiting squads.  However, we question the wisdom of this match. Coming in the middle of the playoff stretch drive and on the heels of matches in CONCACAF Champions League and the Open Cup, it seems like the Sounders are over extending themselves.  This is especially so, because the Sounders are not hurting for support and don’t need the match to generate interest.

Finally, the Philadelphia Biz Journal is reporting on the Union’s youth soccer initiatives as part of the $2o million Pepsi Refresh project.  The campaign is part of a bigger effort that includes a significant amount of participation from MLS.