15 March 2011

The Singaporean job

One of the most incredible things about soccer is how far across the globe the sport actually spans. From the deep jungles of Santa Cruz, Bolivia to the high slopes of the Tibetan Plateau, soccer is England's most important and famous export; more so than world destroyers BP or the "British Gentlemen" qualities we've come to stereotype them into. For the Cosmos as to borrow the line from former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue "would you rather have 300,000 million fans or 1 billion" and to answer that in a Captain Obvious manner, you bet your bottom dollar. Over on the NYC website the organization talks about how they are visiting Asia for the first time since they went back in the 70's and how the global brand of Green and Yellow is trying to forge new economic partnerships and develop into new corners of the world and that by bringing Pele, Cantona, and some LA athlete named Cobi they can do just that. But underneath this diplomacy by fame cover-up the Cosmos are doing a shroud deal that could lead them one step closer to MLS and one better player towards greatness.

One of the first things to jump out at you is on the website the mention of a company known as Courts. For a lot of people Courts is basically a brand only found in Singapore, (And seeing that Singapore is one of only two city-states in the world, a City Brand) who in a lot of ways are like our Sears' stores. The quote from the Cosmos' site states

The trip has been defined by a number of activities focused on spreading
goodwill through sport, developing young talent and building global
partnerships. The New York Cosmos have also entered into a sponsorship agreement
with Courts........ who has come on board as the Official Partner of The 2011
New York Cosmos Asia Tour. While in Singapore, Courts will develop promotions
and publicity to generate excitement around the partnership, while reinforcing
both organizations’ commitment to youth soccer. Courts is currently the title
sponsor of S-League club The Courts Young Lions, while The New York Cosmos
operates two elite youth academies in New York and Los Angeles called Cosmos
Academy East and Cosmos Academy West, respectively.
What I find perplexing is the addition of talking about Courts's S-League team and the fact that the Cosmos do not mention anything on the hope of going to MLS but just post about the academy teams they happen to have. Not to speculate or suggest but can this be sign that the Cosmos of America are reaching out to one of the hot spots in the world in Singapore and could possibly use this as a port of entry for the brand and a port of export for players. Singapore itself has been looking at completely dismantling their national team so this could mean the Court's is looking at finding another way to globally sponsor its brand in case the SAAF decides to ax the national team. Especially seeing that the "Young Lions" is one of the many ways that Singapore develops its talent, and a Court's sponsorship along with the SAAF. (Similar to the old USL days with the U-20's of the US). If Court's sponsorship could lead for some of the "top-level" talent to move to MLS; more of the Island's 4 million people will put on the Cosmos white the same way we American fans put on the burgundy of Aston Villa or the blue and black of Stabeak. (Both teams have some sort of American following due to them carrying US internationals) Singaporeans could find love in the Cosmos due to carrying future men who would bring their city-state to glory and also because a major far-eastern brand could help elevate the Cosmos in a untapped soccer market. Just take a look at this image below that is directly from the NY Cosmos site, this is a Singapore that is dying to see former greats who are only promoting a team. Imagine the likes of the Singaporean U-23 team, the best youth the small island city-state nation has to offer going against the likes of the best that North America has and the former greats that the world can offer. Last time I checked Singapore isn't where the likes of Henry, Beckham, and Blanco wanted to play out their soccer years but the US and its premier professional league of MLS is.

Look I'll be the first to say the compared to even to Asia's top league, the J-League; MLS is a little behind but that is what makes it so attractive for a country like Singapore. It might be behind but like the small fortress of a city-state that Singapore is; has attracted the world and is poised to grow beyond its physical boundaries to a new space of power.


Nick said...

Lets hope they found a lot of money