Front Office Award: The Nominees

timbers ticketsIt 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.

Tonight we will present two of the 2013 nominees.

We start in Portland, where the Timbers continue to consistently fill their building while providing great atmosphere.  When you look at the “check boxes” that fans want their club to fill in the business arena, the Timbers manage to check them all.  Sold out venue: check.  Soccer specific stadium: check.  Jersey and stadium naming rights sponsors: check and check.  Young, marketable talent on the field and bench: check and check.  The team has a dedicated radio home for all of their matches, a local television deal that includes broadcast tv and a weekly highlights and feature show on Friday night during the season.   The team also has Spanish language television and radio partners.  Not of this includes the substantial efforts made to promote the candidacy of its coach and players for various year end awards.  The Timbers have quickly become part of the fabric of the Portland community.  In short, Portland has hit all of the high notes on the business scorecard in the 2013 season.

Last year the Chicago Fire won this award.  The team had landed a jersey sponsor, increased attendance and became a presence on social media.   Despite the lack of splash in 2013, the team managed another steady business season.  Like the Timbers, the Fire have a local television deal on broadcast tv and a radio simulcast package.  While attendance was down from 2012, the team managed to average more than 15k per game.   The team has a great array of official corporate partners (headed by Quaker),

We’ll have write-ups of the other members of the final 4 over the next couple of days.