Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
Women's opener only four days away
by Paul Kennedy, March 25th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[WPS] Amid a severe economic slowdown that has hit Americans sports leagues hard, Women's Professional Soccer is set to begin its first season on Sunday when the Los Angeles Sol featuring Brazilian star Marta hosts the Washington Freedom (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 6 pm ET/3 pm PT). While WPS Commissioner Tanya Antonucci says the league goal for average attendance remains 4,000-6,000 a game, the push to opening day has not been without some upheaval, the replacement of one team's president and general manager.

On Monday, the Washington announced that former Chicago Fire executive Mark Washo had been hired as president and general manager, replacing Joe Quinn.

Both Washington and FC Sky Blue had fallen behind the league's other five leagues, but Antonucci says there has been a turnaround.

"They are more focused on grassroots programs," she said in a teleconference call on Tuesday. "They have the right executives in place and right advertising campaigns."

She said several clubs had sold season tickets in the range of 1,000-1,400.

"If that number is times three with group sales, individual sales and walk ups," she added, "we'll be close to our goal of 6000 fans per game."

She gave high marks to Boston and Chicago -- both clubs headed by former MLS executives (Joe Cummings with the Breakers and Peter Wilt with the Red Stars).

Ticket sales for Sunday's opener at the Home Depot Center exceeded 6,000. The marks to keep in mind -- last weekend's MLS attendance for the Galaxy (18,013) and Chivas USA (16,453) in Carson.

On the sponsorship side, WPS has one major sponsor, Puma. Antonucci announced an agreement with a water company -- San Francisco-based (like WPS) Hint Water -- on Tuesday. At the team level, the only deal of note is the Sol's jersey agreement with Amway, though Antonucci said Sky Blue FC was on the cusp of announcing an agreement of its own.

The poor marketing environment has hurt, though Antonucci acknowledged WPS teams were operating on a very conservative basis to begin with.

"There have been cuts at the team and league level," she said, "to be mindful of the temporary -- the way we look at it -- softening in sponsorship market."

She was also optimistic that sponsorship agreements would be forthcoming as marketing budgets were opened up for 2009, albeit in the second quarter.

"We are affordable and efficient in how we reach [fans]," she said.

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Report | Jill Ellis to get new national team contract    
Jill Ellis' 15-month contract with U.S. Soccer ended Friday, but don't expect that situation to last ...
CCL: Sounders motivated for pay-back against 'Caps    
Just four days after the Vancouver Whitecaps celebrated -- a little too much to their opponent's ...
CCL: Plata and Rimando star in Real Salt Lake win    
Real Salt Lake ended its six-game losing streak on the road when Joao Plata's goal in ...
Neeskens and Bover make All-NPSL First Team    
John Neeskens, son of former Dutch great Johan Neeskens, and New York Cosmos B teammate Ruben ...
What They're Saying: Swindon Town owner Lee Power    
"If I was a head of a Man United or a Liverpool, this is something I'd ...
Atlanta United wins approval for $30 million complex    
Atlanta United FC, the MLS expansion team that will begin play in 2017, received approval -- ...
Hubbub roils StubHub for Dos Santos introduction    
A huge throng at LAX when his plane landed Sunday, dozens of cameras and reporters at ...
Johannsson set for $5 million move to Werder Bremen     
Aron Johannsson, the Icelandic product who has played for the USA since 2013, is leaving Dutch ...
What They're Saying: Representative Xavier Becerra    
"We believe that the [MLS] championship has been won with your signing, and we're looking for ...
Sounders beef up attack with Austrian Ivanschitz    
Seattle has taken steps to kick-start its sputtering attack, which hasn't scored in the last four ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives