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Chivas Refocuses Marketing Priorities
Carson Daily Breeze, March 18th, 2008 4PM

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The David Beckham show may put butts in seats, but Chivas USA has become the more successful franchise on the field. Over the past two seasons, while the L.A. Galaxy was missing out on the playoffs and pointing fingers, Chivas quietly improved from a third- to first-place finish in the Western Conference last season.

But still, on the marketing front, Chivas is getting clobbered. The Galaxy averaged a league-high 24,252 at the Home Depot Center last season, while Chivas drew the second-lowest average of 14,305 at the same stadium. Nick Green of the Carson Daily Breeze blames the team's marketing strategy: "So far, simply slapping the name of Mexico's most popular club on an American offshoot has served to remind its Mexican-American fan base that Chivas is merely a pallid substitute for the real thing, rather than a version they can call their own that's worthy of their support."

Indeed, Chivas faces an uphill battle with its (presumed) core fan base, which is why CEO Shawn Hunter believes a more local approach is paramount to the club's future success. Hunter says Chivas USA is now working on instilling its the brand in the minds of L.A.'s youngsters, by hooking up with a Unified School District program called Beyond the Bell, which sends kids to games. The team is also hosting a weekly clinic called "Kick It in the Park," which sees as many as 800 kids attending four sessions a day at 40 different Southern California locations per year.

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