Soccer Business Bits: MLS Sells Seats, Broadcast News & More

In May we wrote the following:  “Major League Soccer announced the formation of the MLS National Sales Center to assist MLS teams with ticket sales and staffing.  The Center will offer a 45 day program that will graduate ticket sales professionals to employment with individual MLS teams.  The students will have the opportunity to craft sales strategies and get real life sales experience. “Ticket sales are the lifeblood of any professional sports team, and this new initiative will provide our clubs with a deeper and more talented pool of ticket sales professionals,” said MLS President Mark Abbott. “We believe the combination of classroom instruction and real-life sales experience will prepare these young men and women with the skills necessary to make an immediate impact when they join an MLS club.””

As partof that ticket sales effort, SBJ is reporting that MLS staffs 7 full time employees in its club services section.  The department focuses on ticket sales strategies for the various MLS franchises while providing business and sponsorship advice to individual clubs.  According to SBJ, the teams freely share information on sales and marketing strategy.

Elsewhere, TSN announced that TSN2 will carry MLS Cup 2010 live across Canada.  TSN2 is typically only available on digital cable and satellite television.  ESPN is a 20% partner in TSN2 and the network typically focuses on sports programming.

Finally, Oregon Live writes about the details of Merritt Paulson’s deal with a local sports clinic to fund a portion of rent payments for PGE Park.  Paulson will have the opportunity to make back half of his rent payments through the deal with the clinic which was carved out of his deal with the City.