Monday After: Business Blogging the MLS Cup Final

The broadcast started with a Max Bretos voice-over after a solid lead-in from the College Football lead-in studio.  The musical background and voice over followed, with some great highlights of the teams.  The match was officially presented by adidas.  The studio was manned by Keller, Lalas, Moreno and Bretos.  After some initially comments from the crew, the telecast rehashed the 2011 final and reprised each team’s path to the final.

Not surprisingly, it took only six minutes for the telecast to focus on Beckham, including an interview between Becks and Julie Foudy.  Beckham has always been a good interview and he continues to say the right things about the league, the city and his experience in Major League Soccer.  The network put up a great graphic that showed that average player salaries have almost doubled since he arrived and the number of stadiums went from 4 to 13.   Also announced that Commissioner Garber would be the halftime studio guest.

First round of commercials included the new Daniel Craig Heineken spot.  The RGIII Gatorade commercial followed with the Allstate soccer specific mayhem spot.  A Castrol spot followed with a set of local commercials up next.  ESPN ran a great spot promoting the Brazilian Confederations Cup.  Cobi Jones and Mauricio Cienfuegos brought the Cup in to the stadium.  Thereafter, it was a challenge for the studio to avoid discussing Beckham at every turn.

The telecast stepped away for the anthem and started with a the soccer Pepsi commercial.  League sponsor Continental Tire followed with an ad from newly extended DC (and league) sponsor VW.  That was followed by a series of local ads.  After some unfortunate focus on the Lalas mustache, Continental tire had a second ad, followed by an Allstate ad and a Toyota spot.

The second half telecast was fairly routine, but Healey and Twellman should be commended for

Right after the game, Monica Gonzalez spoke with Landon Donovan on the field who gives a noble shout-out to the Make a Wish Foundation.  ESPN showed some great images of emotion from both sides.  VW got some air time as the MVP award sponsor .  The network did a great job staying away from commercial for an extended period following the game.

Apple was the first post-game commercial with a second Pepsi ad immediately following.  A spate of local commercials followed.  Out of the break, ESPN cut to an on field interview with Beckham which was mic’d to the entire stadium.

On the return, Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman picked up the call.  Continental Tire sponsored the Analysts Corner and the game kicked up a tick before 5:00 p.m.  Adidas was the first on screen sponsor at the 4 minute mark. Took me a while to find the logo in top right corner of the screen.  Goodyear blimp got its first mention and provided its first images in the 15th minute.  VW showed the second on screen advertisement and Continental Tire had the third.  As the game hit a lull near the end of the first half, Healey made a mention of the joint ownership of Houston and Los Angeles via AEG.  Gatorade nabbed the final on screen ad.  Castrol GTX will be the sponsor of the halftime show.

The halftime started with some thoughts from Kinnear via Monica Gonzalez.  Interesting that the studio show spoke before the first round of commercials.  The set of ads started with another Allstate Mayhem commercial, followed by AT&T and a spot for the Big 12 Title Game. Chase and BMW then had ads.

Commissioner Garber joined after the break and naturally started with a Beckham question followed by a question about the nationalities of players in the league.  Lalas followed up with a question about the league paying American players and Bretos followed with requisite relegation/promotion question.  Garber did speak about the possibility of relegation in the future of MLS.

Castrol was the first ad following the Garber interview with Heineken following.  Apple was the next advertiser with the RGIII Gatorade ad making a second appearance.  VW followed with a second Sign then Drive commercial.