All-Star Ramblings: A Business Look

Major League Soccer’s Mid-summer classic went off in Harrison on Wednesday night before a (mostly) packed house at Red Bull Arena.  We thought we would offer some random business observations on the pre-game festivities and the match itself.   Prior to the game, the MLS sponsors were out in force, with an entire section of the stadium grounds devoted to the major MLS sponsors.  There were rows of VW cars, jersey give aways from AllState and soccer street performances by Pepsi Max.   Players from the Red Bulls were  signing autographs in abundance, hidden in the tents of various league sponsors. Other American soccer luminaries such as Tony Meola and Alexi Lalas also mingled with the crowd signing for fans.

The crowd started building outside the arena hours before first kick.  Many were confronted by branding themed  surveys looking to evaluate the connection between American soccer and the league’s primary sponsors.  The questions asked fans about their relationship with the various brands and about whether they were associated with soccer.

Inside the stadium, the press box was full, photographers crowed the field and league personel were in abudance.  As the event was once again presented by AT&T, the sign boards constantly reflected the relationship as did the MLS jerseys.  AON joined the rest of the league sponsors on the stadium stadium sign boards.  In addition, league jersey sponsors such as Jeld Wen and Bimbo featured prominently.

More to come tomorrow, including a business centered media chat with Commissioner Garber from halftime of the game.