New Sports Leagues in 2009
In case you haven't heard, two brand new sports leagues are planning to make a go of it in the second half of 2009.
Even with the best of business models, launching a new league in this spending environment would seem to require a herculean effort. In fact, the AFL decided to take a one year hiatus for the 2009 season so it will be interesting to see their strategy, especially on the local level.
Back in '02, I managed a sponsorship for J&J with the WUSA in their inaugural season. WUSA did a lot of things right - even though travel costs, stadium sizes and league-wide sponsorship shortfalls did them in. WPS officials says they've learned from the WUSA's mistakes and crafted a more conservative and realistic business strategy that will keep costs in line. Like Minor League Baseball, local sponsors could find WPS' cost-efficient and family-friendly environment appealing. National advertisers may be tougher to convince, even though they appear to have already had some success in scoring a three year/$10MM deal with Puma. If WPS can meet attendance expectations and manage costs to a fault, they might find some level of success on a local level (even in a dismal economic environment).
The NY/NJ Sky Blue Soccer of the U.S. Women's Pro Soccer League is looking for marketing partners, we hear ; )
As schedules, rosters and such get finalized, we look forward to being a conduit for each of the WPS and UFL franchises to get the word out about partnership opps!