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
Montreal dismisses De Santis as sporting director    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Halfway through what is shaping up to be one of the worst seasons in ...
Rubin likes FC Utrecht's ambitions    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Rubio Rubin had to wait until he turned 18 in March to be eligible ...
Corona scores in Tijuana's Copa MX win    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] U.S. international Joe Corona scored the winner for Tijuana in its 3-1 win over ...
What They're Saying: Mark Geiger     
"It was very strange, with the way [Brazil] walked out on the field and just their ...
Manchester United wins third tour game in shootout    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Manchester United won the third game of its U.S. tour with a 5-3 shootout ...
Cuevas gets start in Lobos BUAP victory    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Former U.S. under-20 national team forward Daniel Cuevas started for Torneo Ascenso (second division) ...
Lots in play on busy MLS Wednesday    
[PREVIEW: Week 21] A Wednesday of four MLS matches makes up for the lightened schedule of ...
Tim Howard returns in booth    
[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Tim Howard will again be spending many of his off-days as part ...
Clubs busy making mid-season player moves    
[MLS: Tuesday] The Philadelphia Union announced a press conference for Wednesday at which time it is ...
U.S. U-17s drop second straight game    
[OPEN NORDIC TOURNAMENT] The U.S. under-17 national team dropped its second game in two days at ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives