The Monday After: Our Weekly Look at the Weekend in Soccer Business

The big weekend story for MLS fans was the combine in Fort Lauderdale. The most notable sponsor name at the combine is adidas, the league Players, coaches, league personnel and other descended on the city for a couple of days of scouting, mingling and more.  Perhaps most notable are the waves of soccer agents who attend the games, stake out the hotels and approach players with an eye towards securing unaffiliated athletes for their roster.  Most report that the agents are largely given a free hand to approach players during the weekend events.

Elsewhere, Commissioner Garber met South Florida soccer fans about the possibility of the league expanding to the Miami area. Garber recommended that fans serious about convincing the league to expand to the area need to support soccer in its current form.  That includes lower division soccer, Champions League and more.  Obviously, the absence of a ready investor and a firm stadium plan presents significant hurdles.  Also significant is the area’s previous failure with the Miami Fusion.  Despite all the noise about support for lower division soccer, the keys for an planned MLS expansion are a wealth investor and a stadium plan.  There have been noises about various investment groups looking.  A while back, it was reported that Barcelona combined with Marcelo Claure and Florida International University to  submit a bid to bring MLS back to South Florida.  That bid seemed to fade away and South Florida seems a long way from a future franchise.

One final point of note.  A close look at the SBJ/Turnkey poll reveals some glaring absences in the universe of MLS Sponsors.  The league has no hotel sponsor, no insurance sponsor, no fast food sponsor, no shipping sponsor and no bank sponsor.   Burger King was the last fast food sponsor for the league and Four Points hotels sponsored the MLS playoffs.  However, these are some glaring omissions from the roster of product categories that could be sponsoring the league.