In a Soccer Newsday column at the end of 2013, I suggested that, in order for Major League Soccer to build a successful team in Miami, the new club would need to focus on two key market factors. Specifically, the new club needs to:
- Target particular fan market segments – notably parsing out the term “Hispanic” in order to truly define this ill-defined “ethnic” market, and
- Define which fans and demographic areas in South Florida will actually want to support MLS in Miami. In other words, due respect needs to be paid to the Fort Lauderdale area, with its own rich soccer tradition and existing NASL club. Miami-Dade County needs to build its own soccer identity separate from their northern neighbors.
The unanimous vote in December 2013 by Miami-Dade County commissioners to officially negotiate with David Beckham’s investor group about a privately financed stadium plan is an important step in grabbing the latest MLS expansion slot, notably considering MLS Commissioners Don Garber’s statement that a stadium deal is a must for any new expansion team.
In this column, prior to the early February announcement that is expected from MLS regarding expansion in Miami, I want to delve into three more areas of concern:
- attracting the college market,
- building on star power, and
- the importance of in-state rivalries to the success of MLS Miami and all of the state’s pro teams.
Please read the rest at Soccer Newsday.