The Monday After: Ads on Fox, Business of the Rapids and Attendance

Time for a Monday wrap of the weekend that was in American soccer.  We’ll start with the Fox’s efforts to promote its Saturday afternoon broadcast of the upcoming Champions League Final.  The game will feature as part of a “split” doubleheader on Fox that includes the match at 2:00 and a 7:00 baseball telecast. During the Mets/Yankees Saturday night game on Fox, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were tasked to read a promo of the game (on multiple occassions) accompanied by graphics.  Their read of the spot included some vanilla banter about the idea of Fox televising both a soccer and baseball match on the same day.  A Saturday afternoon May is not prime television time, but the broadcast of a European soccer match on network television is remarkable given where soccer has come from in this country.

We forgot to note last week’s Sports Business Journal Q&A with Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush.  The interview is worth a read, but some highlights include the addition of Westerra Credit Union as the full season presenting sponsor, key rolls for Porsche and Coors Light in the team’s sponsorship roster and a 30% increase in season ticket sales.

It was a solid attendance weekend in Major League Soccer.  More than 18,300 were in Philly for the Union’s 2-1 victory over Chicago, while more than 25k were in Houston to see the Red Bulls and Dynamo play to a 2-2 draw.  The late games on Saturday were quite solid, with 27k in Los Angeles for the Galaxy/Chivas match, 26k+ in Seattle for the Sounders and more than 18k in Portland for the Timbers.  Only San Jose, with less than 10k in attendance, had a subpar night.  On Sunday night, the Dallas crowd was impacted by bad weather, while the Rapids seemingly put together a very solid crowd for their match against TFC