Soccer Business Bits: Red Bulls Business, SBJ Poll & More

According to a recent piece in the NY Post, the business side of the New York Red Bulls experienced a fantastic 2010.  Jersey sales jumped more than 100% (year over year), putting the team second in MLS in such sales.  The team is also looking for a new television deal following the expiration of its arrangement with MSG.  Possible partners include MSG, SNY, YES and more. The prevalence of RSN’s in the New York area gives the team some bargaining power, but the baseball season would impact live coverage of the games on SNY and YES. The Red Bulls are seeking to produce their own broadcasts and sell the content.

Elsewhere, SBJ completed its annual readers poll.  Among the sports business executives and media voting, more than half decreed that soccer had the greatest national growth potential (beating out lacrosse, action sports and more) and a similar percentage said that the World Cup was the single global property with which they would most want to be associated. MLS was also decreed as the national property with the most growth potential (ahead of all major US Sports leagues, UFC, NCAA and more).  On the flip side, WPS was voted the most likely sports property to fold.

One final note.  Multiple reports are suggesting that Seattle will sign Montero as a DP.  This would represent a new direction for the league’s DP rule and a potential watershed event.  If the league is able to retain top talent for competitive salaries while permitting players to grow in the league, the business ramifications are significant.  Seattle will likely now have a number of years to decide whether to sell Montero at a profit and/or build their franchise around his talents.  If true, it will also serve to encourage young players from abroad to explore MLS  because of the possibility that they will be well paid.  We will continue to monitor this process.