Soccer Business Bits: Chicago Goes Dynamic, TFC Builds and Benny

A couple of quick hitters from around soccer.  We’ll start in Chicago, where the Fire have announced a deal with Qcue to offer dynamic pricing at Toyota Park.  According to the Sports Business Daily the Fire become the first MLS team to implement dynamic pricing.  According to SBD, dynamic pricing, “adjusts single-game ticket prices as late as the day of the game through computer analysis of factors including team performance, opponent, weather, day of the week and gate giveaways.”  This pricing model has become popular throughout sports, as franchises look to maximize game day attendance.  Fora great look at how dynamic pricing works, click here to check out Qcue’s website.  Thanks to MLS Rumors for letting us know about the link.

We neglected to report on TFC’s plans to build a 14 acre, $20 million training complex for the club and its academy.  The site is a former airfield owned by the Canadian government, and will be leased by team owners MLSE and built with funds.  In addition to providing a home for the team and its youth players, team offices will also be located on the complex.  there will be four grass fields and one turf field that provides an indoor environment for the team.  This represents a significant investment on behalf of MLSE and TFC in the future of the league.

Finally, the world of Twitter was blowing up with the allocation of Benn Feilhaber.  The newly selected Revolution midfielder was trending on the social media site and the mysteries of his ultimate destination had MLS fans glued to their computers.  The evening’s events showed the power of Twitter, as soccer lovers relied on the outlet for updates from journalists, the league and clubs.

Soccer Business Bits: TV in Chicago, Going Green, Donovan Sponsorship & More

Just a couple of quick hits today.  In Chicago, the Fire announced Comcast SportsNet Chicago as their official television broadcast partner for 2010 and Univision Radio as its official radio partner.  All locally broadcast television games will be in HD.  The arrangement includes a pre-game and post-game show.  There will also be English language and Spanish language broadcasts over the internet. Radio 1200 will have the games in Spanish over the air.

Keeping with the Fire, Chicago announced a “Fire Goes Green” campaign for its April 24th match against Chicago.  As part of the initiative, the Fire will plant 40 trees,  provide re-usable grocery bags to their fans, purchase energy credits to set-off carbon use at the game and distribute recycling bins around the stadium.  The efforts is part of the Fire’s Earth Day celebration and will also include special foot menus and other “green” distributions during the match.

Galaxy star Landon Donovan appears to have a new sponsorship partner.  Donovan joined Yankee captain Derek Jeter and Falcon QB at the Gillette EA Sports Champions of Gaming event in New York.  The effort was part of Gillette’s showcasing of its newest razor.

Elsewhere, AC Milan’s Summer tour now officially includes second division, and MLS expansion candidate, Montreal.  According to the team’s website, the Italian power will visit Olympic Stadium on June 2, for a friendly.  The game will be preceded by another match with a Serie A side, as Fiorentina will visit the Impact on May 23.  This is a bold move for the lower division club and certainly makes a statement about the team’s ambitions.  Would a match against AC Milan make the perfect stage to announce entry into MLS?

Quick Hits: Business Dealings Around MLS

Sports franchises are always looking for ways to interact with the community, impress season ticket holders and generate good will.  Here are a couple of examples of these types of events around MLS.

In New England, the Revs are offering a season ticket holder referral program.  If existing season ticket holders can convince friends/family to purchase season tickets, the Revs are ready to provide incentives.  Two season tickets gets you a personalized 2009 jersey, while 20 tickets gets you a VIP trip to the MLS All-Star game.  In between there are trips to away games, locker room visits, concession credits and more.  We think this is a nice idea;  although the rewards are fairly small it is a nice gesture.  Query why is the team giving away a 2009 jersey and not a 2010 version?  Also, this push is coming late in the season and likely would have been better suited to the immediate post-season period.  It will be interesting to see if anyone claims the 29 ticket prize.

In Houston, the Dynamo are again offering “Centers for Excellence” in 2010.  The youth training camps are sponsored by Statoil, and offer a curriculum based on the Dynamo youth model.  The program costs $300 per student and scholarships are available.

The Chicago Fire are getting set for their “Season Kick-Off” function on March 24, 2010.  The event will include a reception, lunch and acution and the entire team will be in attendance.  All proceeds benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. Tickets are $70 each and tables can be purchased for $650.  The first 20 purchased tables get assigned a Fire player to sit at the table.