Reza Mamodhoussen | 5 min. read

A look into the marketing mix’s role in the United States Major League Soccer

A Quick Insight

The Major League Soccer (MLS) is the equivalent to NBA or NFL in the United States. Even though it is competing with these fast-paced championships, large media deals, have helped the league attract domestic and international attention, with million-dollar deals. The Marketing 4 mix (4Ps) will help you either understand how to market your team or the marketing work involved in within a team.

“The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it.”     

— Peter F. Drucker

Product Strategy

A quick look at an NBA game, and you will see multiple commercial breaks, however, a soccer match and the MLS itself can be seen as the product. Most soccer teams, and the MLS, follow the same concept of placing advertisement around the soccer pitch. Looking at Inter Miami, David Beckham’s soccer club located in Fort Lauderdale, and you will see that jerseys are branded with the respective brands that are sponsored. For example, as you are running your club, you will contact Adidas or Nike, Coca – Cola or Pepsi to get them to sell products based on your team’s profile. 

Heineken does a great job at this. Their products are marketed around stadiums, and I particular in the VIP areas. Leagues, such as MLS or clubs, will want to partner themselves with Heineken as customers can relate to the product they’re offering.

Pricing Strategy

The quote by Peter F. Drucker exemplifies how we can market our club into our fans. As any product, the MLS has increased its pricing as popularity grows. Pricing is competitive with the NBA and the NFL. The biggest teams in the world, however, know how to take advantage of that. Their product and distribution strategies enable them to increase their prices without losing their fans. The MLS maintains a trust amongst their fans (allowing them to gradually increase their prices) by sharing content on social media that makes the fans feel closer to the team. Season ticket holders and Memberships are a great way to retain customer bases.

Place/Distribution Strategy

As you begin your journey in either a marketer working for a soccer team or an owner of the soccer team, distribution channels might be the most important aspect of it. Taking example from the MLS, as they grow, the teams in the leagues have a fixed number of televised games. The bigger your team’s name, the more games are televised. Therefore, it is crucial to grow your brand through the product strategy and get pricing correct. The Premier League, which is England topflight soccer league, has the largest broadcasting TV rights in the world. This is because they reach fans across the world with their marketing campaigns, ranging from Emirates to Coca-Cola. As your distribution increases, so can your pricing. 

Promotion Strategy

Marketing’s structure in football can be bluntly described in such a scenario:

  1. Creating fan bases
  2. Persuading partners to invest
  3. Maintain and enhance academy level players
  4. Communicate and connect with fans

The MLS, over the past decade, has been promoting its league by signing ageing soccer superstars, such as David Beckham. As these players post on their social media accounts, the teams social media gains attention, and slowly the teams are having record attendances. Promotion can also be done through video games and as mentioned before, brands such as Audi.  

Final Outlook

Taking into account the Marketing Mix strategy into your venture of building your own club or working for a sporting company, will help you build an incredible future and increase profits. However, this is just the beginning. A harsh economy cannot stop you from continuing to bring in profits. Follow up next week, to see the untapped potential marketing potential the MLS and soccer will have for the 2026 World Cup. Here’s a sneak peek!

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