Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
The pros and cons of MLS's Hawaii venture
by Ridge Mahoney, February 20th, 2008 6:30AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

Ridge Mahoney examines the Pan-Pacific Championship
For a tournament set in a fabulous Hawaiian setting, there's much of the Pan Pacific Championship that's not to like.

 

All four games in Aloha Stadium will be played on artificial turf. MLS representatives Houston and Los Angeles are barely three weeks into preseason training, and the squads they brought are pockmarked by injuries.

Neither of the foreign teams, Gamba Osaka of Japan and Sydney FC of Australia, are champions of their respective leagues. The games will be played late at night in most of the USA, which is one reason they are being televised on ESPN Classic instead of the main channel or ESPN2.

The prize money, such as it is, totals a rather paltry $150,000.

Still, there will likely be smiles aplenty on the faces of organizer SUM and its partners once the receipts and invoices are added up. For once again it has parlayed David Beckham into a marketing coup, and cracked yet another frontier on the marketing side as well as the competitive front.

Gamba Osaka plays Los Angeles in the opener (11 p.m. ET) and Houston meets Sydney FC (1:30 a.m. ET), with the third-place match and championship game set for Saturday. Dynamo forward Brian Ching, a native son, is getting a lot of press yet he's by far the second-most popular interview subject.

"This is my first time in Hawaii, so I'm looking forward to looking around and seeing the beaches," said Beckham at a Monday press conference that formally kicked off the event. "Everything is beautiful here."

Not much of the soccer is expected to be beautiful, with three of the four teams working out the preseason kinks on a synthetic surface. Like the MLS teams, Gamba Osaka is preparing for the start of a new season. Sydney FC is in Hawaii the same week as the A-League's Grand Final is to be contested; it was knocked out a month ago in the Preliminary Final.

Yet none of that is likely to matter much to the native fans eager to see Beckham, and the thousands of Japanese visitors expected to arrange their trips in conjunction with this event. In Japan, the games will be televised on Sky PerfecTV, which shows the J-League. Among the tournament's sponsors is Japan Airlines, Johnson & Johnson of Japan, etc.

Sponsorships have been sold totaling in "the low seven figures," according to a league spokesman. Beckham jerseys and shirts are selling briskly. For a week, TV crews and print journalists have been cranking out coverage, which escalated when the Galaxy and Beckham hit Honolulu.

For SUM, and MLS and its teams, this is a part of the world from which it can profit, on and off the field.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Felix Magath    
"I merely suggested it could be worth trying the old wives' tale of applying quark cheese ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS Week 28] There's a new team atop the Power Rankings as the streaking LA Galaxy ...
NYCFC and Orlando City will draw for player slots    
[MLS EXPANSION] Representatives from New York City FC and Orlando City, the two 2015 MLS expansion ...
What They're Saying: Nasser Al Khater    
"The only question now is when, not if. Summer or winter, we will be ready." -- ...
D.C. United is on verge of clinching    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Preview] MLS's four U.S. entrants are all in action in the Concacaf Champions ...
Olsen is still MLS's youngest head coach    
[MAKING A LIST] Almost four years after being named D.C. United head coach, Ben Olsen is ...
D.C. United rewards Olsen with multi-year extension    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Head coach Ben Olsen, who survived D.C. United's horrific 2013 campaign, the worst in ...
Valeri volleys a golazo on the run     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Portland's Diego Valeri looks set to garner his third ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 6 Washington rebounded from allowing an early goal to beat USF, 2-1, in ...
Howard gaffes cost Everton dearly at home    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton's defensive troubles in the English Premier League continued as it dropped a 3-2 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives