Coming from Canada, I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of soccer. Maybe it’s because I broke my arm while playing it when I was a young one, or maybe it’s just because there is too much action in the middle of the field. Regardless, I think Ted Moseby has a chance of finding true love before I ever become a die-hard soccer fan.
With that being said, from a sports business perspective, it’s hard to ignore the relevance and global importance of the sport of futbol. Over the past couple months, I have kept my eye close to the business of soccer, not the leagues or games themselves. However, with the new addition of a franchise to my hometown of Montreal (GO IMPACT…Wait, did I just do that?), I have come to realize that there is much to make of the explosion of MLS soccer in North America.
As we sat in the MLS boardroom, (what a beauty!) we were surrounded by the past trophies and other historical pieces that symbolize the MLS. Although less than 20 years old, the MLS is building on quite the tradition and has an ambitious goal to be the “best professional soccer league in the world” by 2022.
And they seem to be on the right path. Soccer participation rates and corporate sponsorships are at all-time highs and that trend doesn’t appear to be going down any time soon. Much of that is attributed to Kathy Carter, President of the MLS and its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM). In her role, Kathy oversees all of the revenue streams for the sport of soccer in North America. That includes: Sponsorships, consumer products, and digital ad sales.
Kathy was really awesome and knowledgeable about the growth of the game. She was very up-front with all our questions and comments, which is always a sign of a fantastic leader. There is no doubt in my mind that the MLS is in great hands and will meet their objectives with Kathy at the helm.
We got to tour the office afterwards. The office was plastered with historical artifacts and soccer memorabilia. It is a really cool place!