Soccer United Marketing

QuigrNYCFC

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Does anyone find it uncomfortable that Soccer United Marketing, owned by MLS owners, controls TV deals for MLS, US Men’s and Women’s National Team games, and Mexican national team games?

What would stop them from sending out perennially sub par teams into the league or not really care about improving the product on the field for the USA and Mexico.

Are owners more interested in getting a piece of Soccer United Marketing than they are winning a championship or sending out a quality team?
 
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ferrarinycfc

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As with most things in the USA, sports owners are mostly interested in making money.

Most of that happens in MLS is through a cut of SUM and the increase in franchise values once they decide to sell.

This is also why Promotion and Relegation will never happen.
 

Keith Putnam

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What would stop them from sending out perennially sub par teams into the league or not really care about improving the owners more interested in getting a piece of Soccer United Marketing than they are winning a championship or sending out a quality team?
While I certainly think it's problematic for SUM, MLS and the USSF to be so embedded with each other, I'm not clear how deliberately worsening the product on the field would lead to greater profits for the entities involved if a worse product is more difficult to market to TV.
 

SoupInNYC

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Does anyone find it uncomfortable that Soccer United Marketing, owned by MLS owners, controls TV deals for MLS, US Men’s and Women’s National Team games, and Mexican national team games?

What would stop them from sending out perennially sub par teams into the league or not really care about improving the product on the field for the USA and Mexico.

Are owners more interested in getting a piece of Soccer United Marketing than they are winning a championship or sending out a quality team?
W

While I certainly think it's problematic for SUM, MLS and the USSF to be so embedded with each other, I'm not clear how deliberately worsening the product on the field would lead to greater profits for the entities involved if a worse product is more difficult to market to TV.
Yeah, agreed here.

First, regarding National Team games, I'm really not sure why you're bringing Mexico into this as they only control US TV distribution and I don't see any correlation that MLS owners have in regards to improving/not improving their squad. Same for US Men and Women. For argument's sake, let's pretend MLS owners didn't care about improving the MLS product, we've had tons of examples of young talented Americans skipping the MLS academies and heading over to Europe.

For MLS team, I'll just point to what Keith Putnam Keith Putnam said.
 

QuigrNYCFC

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Yeah, agreed here.

First, regarding National Team games, I'm really not sure why you're bringing Mexico into this as they only control US TV distribution and I don't see any correlation that MLS owners have in regards to improving/not improving their squad. Same for US Men and Women. For argument's sake, let's pretend MLS owners didn't care about improving the MLS product, we've had tons of examples of young talented Americans skipping the MLS academies and heading over to Europe.

For MLS team, I'll just point to what Keith Putnam Keith Putnam said.
Most of my question stems from this Sports Illustrated article from a while back.
https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/01/25/sum-soccer-united-marketing-garber-gulati-carter

I would agree that if the soccer product on the field sucks then you're not going to get much TV revenue. So it wouldn't make sense for the owners to put a shitty team out on the field. But it wouldn't stop someone from having a so so team if they, as an owner, get a piece of the SUM kitty.
 
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FredMertz

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Most of my question stems from this Sports Illustrated article from a while back.
https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/01/25/sum-soccer-united-marketing-garber-gulati-carter

I would agree that if the soccer product on the field sucks then you're not going to get much TV revenue. So it wouldn't make sense for the owners to put a shitty team out on the field. But it wouldn't stop someone from having a so so team if they, as an owner, get a piece of the SUM kitty.
Can you explain the point you’re trying to make? Are you saying that they won’t care about their MLS teams because they’re making so much money with the National team tv rights?

The operating costs of a team are way too high to have that as their operating plan.
 
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413Blue

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It's not much different than other US leagues. The only difference here is that we have a separate entity set up to manage the TV rights, and a little bit of side business. MLB created their own digital media entity a while back and later sold it to Disney.
So as for the original question, no, I don't find it uncomfortable that our league is exercising it's position.

Let's all remember why SUM was created. Back in 2002, nobody wanted the World Cup. It wasn't even going to air in English. Soccer, and the league, was almost dead in the English speaking conscience. The league owners created SUM to buy the World Cup right, and paid ESPN to air it. The US had a big upset of Portugal, and we all know how much this country loves to get behind a US team. The rest of that tournament saw huge ratings and the World Cup is now considered a must-watch event.
Even after the World Cup, it took about a decade for anybody to be willing to pay for MLS TV rights.
The US team and MLS are complimentary products now, and probably worth more as a package than separate, so it makes sense for them to stay bundled together. The side business of other products is simply extra money into MLS which can only be a good thing.
 

QuigrNYCFC

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It's not much different than other US leagues. The only difference here is that we have a separate entity set up to manage the TV rights, and a little bit of side business. MLB created their own digital media entity a while back and later sold it to Disney.
So as for the original question, no, I don't find it uncomfortable that our league is exercising it's position.

Let's all remember why SUM was created. Back in 2002, nobody wanted the World Cup. It wasn't even going to air in English. Soccer, and the league, was almost dead in the English speaking conscience. The league owners created SUM to buy the World Cup right, and paid ESPN to air it. The US had a big upset of Portugal, and we all know how much this country loves to get behind a US team. The rest of that tournament saw huge ratings and the World Cup is now considered a must-watch event.
Even after the World Cup, it took about a decade for anybody to be willing to pay for MLS TV rights.
The US team and MLS are complimentary products now, and probably worth more as a package than separate, so it makes sense for them to stay bundled together. The side business of other products is simply extra money into MLS which can only be a good thing.
It is a bit different in this case though because of the amount of control MLS has over it's product is broader than MLB.

Can you explain the point you’re trying to make? Are you saying that they won’t care about their MLS teams because they’re making so much money with the National team tv rights?

The operating costs of a team are way too high to have that as their operating plan.
One could argue that the potential monetary gain over the marketing of soccer in the United States could be worth more in the long run than the high operating cost or expansion fees.

The point I'm trying to make is that it feels monopolistic. We should separate these groups and Don Garber should not have this much control.
 

FredMertz

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It is a bit different in this case though because of the amount of control MLS has over it's product is broader than MLB.



One could argue that the potential monetary gain over the marketing of soccer in the United States could be worth more in the long run than the high operating cost or expansion fees.

The point I'm trying to make is that it feels monopolistic. We should separate these groups and Don Garber should not have this much control.
They are two similar but entirely unrelated businesses. No decision in one has any impact on the other.
 

413Blue

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They are two similar but entirely unrelated businesses. No decision in one has any impact on the other.
If anything, they are complimentary to each other and further incentivize investment in their MLS operations.

[Quote QuigrNYCFC QuigrNYCFC ]

Also, Don Garber is simply the collective face of the MLS ownership groups. He is not some super powerful illuminati force bossing soccer in America. He has as much power as the investors collectively are willing to give him.
 
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