It is award season in MLS, and it is time to start looking at the candidates for the Footiebusiness Front Office Award. In past years, the Award was defined this way: “Department recognized for consistent, accurate and proactive efforts in providing media members with information and generating coverage for its team.” However, because this is now a Footiebusiness Award, we think recognition for marketing and promotional efforts should also be included. For purposes of this award, the “2013 year” started when voting closed last October.
Last year the winner was the Chicago Fire. The team had a great year in the stands with attendance increasing by 15% to well over 16,000 fans per game. Perhaps the biggest business news for Chicago came during the Winter, when the team announced a $1.3-1.5 million dollar per year jersey sponsorship agreement with Quaker Oats. If the report is accurate, the new deal is a great score for a Fire franchise that went without a jersey sponsor in 2011 after Best Buy ended its relationship before the season started last year. The team also has done a great job on social media and prepared some great visuals to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
In 2011, the winner was Sporting Kansas City. The team effectively managed its social media presence, ensuring that fans and media were kept apprised of important developments all season long. The team’s leadership is active on Twitter, providing access to fans unmatched by most teams. The team shattered its own attendance mark, averaging more than 19,400 for 2011; Sporting settled into its new digs and has become a fixture in the Kansas City sports scene. The team also had to manage the bad publicity from its affiliation with Lance Armstrong and LiveStrong, a known risk when they executed their stadium naming rights deal with the charity. On the downside, the team has failed to secure a jersey sponsor despite its increased popularity.
There will be four nominees in 2013 for the award. Check back to see write-ups of all of the nominees over the coming days. In the interim, drop us a line with your nominee.
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