Soccer Business Bits: MLS Pre- World Cup Version

With the World Cup about to start and MLS about to embark on a 2 week hiatus, we thought we would take a quick look around the business of the league before all eyes turn to South Africa.  A while back we reported that longtime FIFA sponsor Continental Tire has signed with MLS as a league sponsor.  The multi-year deal provides signage at all MLS matches, hospitality arrangements at games and commercials on league broadcasts.  As is typical for such league-wide deals, SUM negotiated the deal on behalf of MLS and terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Continental is now the official tire of MLS and will have the right to use league marks in its advertising and product.

Now Major League Soccer’s official website is circulating (via e-mail) a survey targeting its user’s tire preferences.  The survey asks readers for their knowledge of Continental Tire and whether they are more likely to purchase tires from Continental because of Continental’s relationship with MLS.  The survey provides some significant insight in Major League Soccer’s efforts to promote its sponsors.  Recall that Continental Tire, through the MLS website, recently offered a free MLS jersey to any fan who purchases four Continental brand tires at participating dealers in certain Northeast locations.  The jersey can be from a team of the fan’s choice and can be redeemed by submitting certain documents to a designated address. The promotion applies to purchases made between May 15 and June 30.

In New England, injured Revs star is the official World Cup analyst for Comcast Sports Net New England, the Regional Sports Network that carries the Revs. Despite his injury problems, Twellman is a recognizable figure to most Boston ara sports fans and his presence on a station as popular as CSN will likely drive mainstream interst in the Cup.

MLS closes its pre-World Cup schedule on ESPN2 Thursday night with a Seattle home game.  The game gets a lead in from ESPN2’s 2.5 hour World Cup preview and provides a great opportunity to put the outstanding atmosphere of Seattle before non-MLS soccer fans who are watching the preview might tune in for MLS action.