MLS Rocks the Twittersphere But Needs More Cowbell

Nicholas Kosar Soccer, Tech

We’re in the middle of the Major League Soccer playoffs. A great time to watch North American soccer. The last week’s playoffs have made it clear to me that MLS really is trying, but that the league needs to open up its wallet in order to get to the next level of fan participation. So how is MLS trying? Well, just …

Soccer’s Most Important Target Market: Collegians

Nicholas Kosar Culture, Soccer

It’s easy to think that the most important target market for pro soccer in North America is the soccer family: soccer Moms and Dads who live and breathe the sport with their kids week after week. But that’s wrong. One could even say that recreational soccer coaches throughout the land are the best targets: They obviously love the sport, they …

Relegation Could Help Ailing MLS Clubs

Nicholas Kosar Soccer

This season has been long and tedious. Says me, a DC United fan. (I won’t name the other sports teams that have also been a recent drag on my life.) But you know it’s getting serious when you actually start considering life beyond … relegation. Being for relegation (and promotion, but let’s focus on the negative half of this for …

What to Do When Your Soccer Club Stinks

Nicholas Kosar Culture, Soccer

So, your team stinks this season? What a drag. When people (Americans) complain about tie games in soccer, I chuckle. Ties mirror life. I would say that most days people spend at their jobs are tie games – ho hum, some good, some bad, but I got through the day and got some value out of it. Other days are …

INFOGRAPH NEEDED: For CONCACAF World Cup 2014 Qualifying Tournament

Nicholas Kosar Soccer

Infographic needed, like this one for the 2011 Gold Cup. I have the feeling that most Americans have become accustomed to the USA playing at everyWorld Cup — as though it’s a given that this will happen every year. If more Americans knew that playing in the finals has to be earned every four years, the USMNT might get more support during …

Enculturation: Soccer’s Long-Term Marketing

Nicholas Kosar Soccer

Rivalries and Generational Hand-Me-Downs Are a Big Part of Soccer’s Future The biggest priority in sports marketing? Butts in seats, which of course means marketing in the short term. The holy grail of getting seats filled is pulling in season ticket holder commitments. Despite the necessity of marketing the game in the short term, I think the most exciting prospects …

Measuring Soccer’s Marketing Funnel

Nicholas Kosar Soccer

The marketing funnel is a well-established concept. In what is probably the original version, explained here, you “pour” a bunch of strategies into the funnel, with the idea that you attract and develop customers who move down the funnel through consecutive stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. Action usually equals a paying customer. Soccer teams attempt all sorts of strategies and …

NWSL’s Refreshingly Cooperative Promotions

Nicholas Kosar Soccer

I grew up with 2 brothers. Years later, in the middle of raising 4 daughters, I realized that girls in sports are not quite as cutthroat as boys can be, on average. A girl messes up in a competitive volleyball game? Her teammates are likely to give her a word of encouragement rather than blast her with negativity. Much like …

Capitalizing on the Season Ticket Race

Nicholas Kosar Soccer

It’s an axiom in business that you need to pay special attention to the customers and clients you already have. Take care of them, and grow the business from them. In many cases those customers are the 20% that deliver the 80% of value. In sports, the season ticket base naturally can rise and fall based on the fortunes of …

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Post-Tsunami Japan: Soccer Beyond Business, Or: J League as Community

Nicholas Kosar Culture, Soccer, Travel

I’m looking forward to Douglas Hurcombe’s upcoming documentary on Vegalta Sendai fans’ reactions to the tsunami that devastated northern Japan in March 2011. Looks like he’ll be shooting footage this Spring as the new J League season gets going. More information on this film project can be found here on