14 December 2010

Where We Stand

Being on the cusp of a new year and a full schedule of “festive period” premiership games, got us thinking about where we stand in the final weeks of 2010.

After a meeting early in the year, The Borough Boys jumped on board with the new ownership group of the New York Cosmos. They shared with us a business plan and time-line for 2010 and everything in that plan came to fruition.

From Pele standing in a
Queens park announcing a return of the New York Cosmos to MLS Commissioner Don Garber saying how he is impressed with the Cosmos, there is, we believe, for the first time since Fred Wilpon talked about MLS in 2007 new reason for optimism for a New York City based soccer club.

This new Cosmos group has really done a great job with launching the brand and creating a buzz for the Cosmos. From their massive sticker campaign, various news articles, promotional events, to their work with the academy, the Cosmos have put a lot of resources into this venture.

The Cosmos have gone on the record stating they have all the funds in place for not only the Major League Soccer expansion fee but also for a stadium itself. This however, is the last we have heard of any stadium news.

According to the Cosmos and Commissioner Garber the stadium would be located in Queens. We have reason to believe that the Wilpon family will be involved and the location would be around Citi Field.

However, there has not been much more news lately in terms of the stadium. Building a stadium is a complex task in
New York and it is hard to imagine one being built for the 2013 target date that the Cosmos seem married to. Faith has to be had that decision makers are working behind the scenes with the city to move forward on a stadium in order to believe such an early target date.  A City official has confirmed to us off the record that new meetings have occurred between potential stadium builders and the Mayor’s agencies, but nothing concrete has been established.

While all is very exciting, there have been some decisions that were questionable. There was the Academy in
Los Angeles, which makes no sense if you understand MLS academy rules. There was the Umbro deal when MLS deals with Adidas ; however this seems more like a temporary way to market a brand with game day apparel before a team arrives.

Another critique heard from the supporters has to do with marketing. Marketing plays an important role in the business of sports but there are only so many pictures of celebrities in Cosmos gear we can take. The fans are very excited about all the stuff going on but we fear the frequent marketing of the Cosmos brand through the use of non-soccer related celebrities before there is more concrete soccer team news is disconnecting the soccer fans from the brand. Fans want to hear more about the stadium, the academies, and MLS. 2013 is a lot closer than most people think. If fans are supposed to get excited for that date, and attend inspirational games, they are going to want to know that the Cosmos are in fact planning on becoming a top flight soccer team.

 After the holidays are over, Soccer fans in
New York City will be hoping to extend the holiday cheer with some concrete news from the Cosmos.  We are waiting and watching eagerly. 


Lax Guy said...

"There was the Academy in Los Angeles, which makes no sense if you understand MLS academy rules."
That move made no sense to me either. Especially with the Galaxy & Chivas both in LA. There may be room for three academies in the LA market, but having a second academy for a NY team in LA does not seem logical. Especially with so much of the southeastern US untouched by MLS. A Florida Academy would have been a better move, IMHO.

Leo Glickman said...

I had always assumed that the LA academy was more marketing driven than football driven.