Soccer Business Bits: Mid-Day Fun, Smart Soccer & More

The Red Bulls hosted the Chicago Fire before a reported crowd of 15k plus on Wednesday.  What made the game unique was the mid-day, weekday start time.  With temperatures near 100 degrees, the game was played in searing in heat at Red Bull Arena.  In baseball it is quite common for teams to play mid-week camp day or businessmen special matches, but not in soccer.  Many of the fans at the stadium were clearly affiliated with camp or youth soccer groups.  From a marketing perspective, the game makes sense as an attempt to grab the attention of younger.  The start time was inconvenient and murder on television ratings, but it was a good attempt by the team to attract a different audience.   The Chivas/Portland match also went off in the afternoon, but at 4:00.

Elsewhere, MLS announced that it will become a “smart soccer league” come 2013.  “Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the data-tracking technology from adidas, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.” According to the press release, “the technology enables a better understanding of the physical and physiological impact on the team, or any individual, during a game or training session. From analyzing trends to preventing over-training and risk of injury, the micoach Elite System will help maintain optimum levels of player performance week in, week out throughout the season.”

Finally, another possible home for an MLS franchise has emerged.  This story probably doesn’t rate much attention, but enjoy.