Mar 8, 2013, 1:02 PM EST
This story is a great opportunity to remind about the real steel framework of selling professional soccer in the United States
It’s about season tickets and building the attached supporters’ culture.
You may know this – smart, thinking man or woman that you are. But believe me, those old notions of suburban families and kids as primary targets have a nasty way of creeping back into the conventional wisdom, especially as it concerns the sports community at large. (That is, sporties who may be OK with soccer, but who are not in the loop on how the sport has advanced happily beyond 2002 in this country.)
The story linked above is about the Houston Dynamo having sold 12,000 season tickets around BBVA Compass Stadium. That’s more than the Astros and Rockets.
Obviously, these are ticket-shaped apples and oranges; An MLS season ticket pack cost just pennies compared to the MLB and NBA dollar.
Still, those 12,000 packages sold, just like the thousands sold at MLS grounds with even greater season ticket joy, generally represent fans. Real, honest-to-goodness, scarf-wrapped supporters who know things. Things like the characters involved. Like whose shins will be kicked in anger that day. They know the back stories that help frame the day – the very orange day in the case of BBVA in South Texas.
Sell to the kids and the suburban families? Sure, their money is just as green. And, yes, you’ll find some die-hard supporters in that same-same crowd. But you also get a bunch of people who had just as soon be passing time at some other entertainment option. They’ll come out twice a year – which is great!
But creating real supporters is where it’s at. There’s the real staying power for MLS.
By the way, those “real supporters,” the 20- and 30-somethings, may one day go have kids. Maybe even in one of the outer rings. Either way, the kids will grow up supporting mom and pop’s teams – as they do in other lands.
Know what you have then? I think they call it “history.” And that many more supporters lining up to buy their season ticket pack.
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