Soccer Premier League
Soccer is one of the most adored and watched sport all over the world. The sport has grown significantly over the last 20 years. This can be attributed to the sensation and excitement brought about by major football leagues all over the world. Over the last decade, the popularity of soccer in the United States of America has grown tremendously. This can greatly be attributed to the establishment and development of the Major Soccer League (MLS). However, it has not grown enough to battle with major sports such as hockey, basketball and baseball. In some countries, such as European countries, football is the most watched and enjoyed sporting activity. This can be attributed to their well-organized football leagues. Though many have been enjoying soccer leagues all over the world, they are oblivious of the factors that led to their significant growth over the last 20 years and those that continue to spark their growth. Such factors include television coverage, facets of soccer-related environments, development of aggressive and ready for action youth soccer clubs, stadium attendance, high school sports participation, and many more. Moreover, the impact of these football leagues has been remarkable, especially in the domestic countries (Clapp & Hakes, 2005).
Background of Study
The mention of soccer, in any setting or forum, evokes many great memories; memories of great players, great plays, great championships, great matches, and great wins. Fans have been enjoying watching soccer since their childhood, and it has always been a great feeling supporting their favorite teams, seeing them win, bag prizes, and grow. It has also been a joy watching their favorite league, the Major Soccer League and its development. Indeed, Major Soccer League soccer is not boring anymore. More specifically, the research paper intended to unlock the factors that led to, and still continue to facilitate the momentous growth of the Major Soccer League. The research also conducted a studied to find out the current status of the Major Soccer League and the impacts the league has brought on the economy of the country and the lives of Americans as well. To be able to complete this research, various methods of data collection were deployed in the study. Furthermore, several secondary sources of data were also used. This secondary sources of data included sports news articles, economic reports, sports, documentaries, books and other credible sources of information pertaining to the subject of soccer. However, the research did well respect intellectual properties and adhered to the required ethics throughout the course of the study.
This topic chosen this because it is my wish to see my favorite league- the Major Soccer League – grow and develop and let people understand the importance of the league to the economy and lives of the United States population. The findings of the research will also persuade the audience to support their local soccer leagues.
Week 8: Information was researched and obtained from credible sources- such as credible websites, databases and books- and read on the current situation of the MLS, its history, factors that led to its growth and factors that continue to influence its growth. In addition, I also looked at the factors that hinder its development and ways to curb them as a requisite for this study. Moreover, the impacts of the league on the economy of the United States were explored.
Week 9: After the research was conducted, some notes were jotted down during the study process for commencement of writing the research report.
Week 10: The previous notes were reviewed and the source materials revisited for coming up with a plan on how to write the research report. The outline was ready by the end of the week.
Week 11: Reviewing of the report outline continued during the course of the week and the work on the rough draft began immediately.
Week 12: The rough draft was worked on and completed by the end of the week.
Week 14: During the week, a final review of the rough draft was done. Prepare and writing of the final draft commenced.
Week 15 and 16: The final draft was finished and submitted.
- What are the factors that influence the growth of Major League Soccer?
- What are the changes that have been witnessed since the establishment of Major League Soccer? Has the economy of the United States been affected? How?
- What are the factors that hinder the development of Major League Soccer?
- What can be done to facilitate the growth of the league?
Several selected leagues were examined namely the German Bundesliga, Major League Baseball (MLB), English Premier League (EPL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Football League (NFL), in comparison to the Major-League Soccer (MLS). The Background Information to the Leagues Selected, according to the secondary sources that explains the history of the major soccer league and the other leagues of influence used in comparison to the league were looked at found to be in brief as follows.
The EPL happens to be the highest level of soccer league in England. It is was also found to be the oldest soccer league that has existed for a longer time. It has been known as the Premier League since 1995 until today. It was ranked second highest in attendance during the 2012-2013 where it average was 35,921 fans per match. In the same season, the Bundesliga of Germany was the highest in the ranking with a total of 42,622 spectators in the stands. The German Bundesliga happens to have been existing since 1963. On the other hand, the NBA happens to be the highest ranked professional league of basketball within the United States. It’s said to have begun in the 1946-1947 season. It currently has a total of 30 professional teams, 29 from the United States having one from Canada (namely the Toronto Raptors). The Playoff game of the NBA Final of the 2012-2013 season an attendance going up to 17,348 people were observed. Another example is the NFL, the football league within the United States. It was inaugurated in the season of 1920. In 2012-2013 sea, so, there was an average of of 67,579 spectators in attendance every game. NFL regular season is normally 17 weeks.
Factors that have influence the growth of Major League Soccer
The purpose of this study was to examine how the major soccer league has grown over the past few years and the or even strategies that were put forward to improve the league. The study also looked at things that the league can do to improve on these strategies employed itself and continue growing. It also explains all the steps that the league has taken to grow since its inception. Dure (2010) explains that the actions that took place on and off the pitch; the lawsuits, the management of the league teams, the business deals, and the politics have helped the league grow. It also discloses the challenges the league faces in the search for its long-term goals. A comparison of the number of spectators in the Major-League Soccer to the other leagues like the English Premier, the Bundesliga, the NBA, National League of Football and Major Baseball League, which was done as shown above was also used in the drawing of conclusions. The study also found out that the league is divided into two portions of Eastern and Western Conferences. It was also observed that the Major-League Soccer does not have a relegation or even promotion structure. It does put into use a system for playoffs where by the first five teams within each conference get to qualify to the league.
Another peer-reviewed credible secondary source published by the Journal of Applied Business and Economics was also looked at. In this source, Peterman and Suntornpithug (2010) analyzes the relationship between attendance of the EPL and MLS to the disposable incomes of the respective nations through the years 2002 to 2008. By studying this resource, the fan behavior in the Major-League Soccer was greatly understood. It was observed that the soccer fans have been able to influence the growth of the Major-League Soccer in a significant way. The article also proposes several things that can be done by the major soccer league for it to grow. The author explains the expansions in the MLS and that the league plans to make revenue for the clubs and that this will be able to help in facilitation of its growth. It also gives the insights into the current status of the league, especially the pertinent issues like the law suits that are taking place every now and often and in turn happen to be derailing the growth of the league.
Markovits and Hellerman (2001) explains why soccer is not as developed as British football, basketball, hockey and baseball have. It says that the sport’s culture of the American has influenced the growth of the major soccer league so much to the point that they have a culture that prefers the other sports rather than watch soccer. The book also analyzes the sports culture in Europe and North America. Additionally, it does explain the impacts of soccer and its subsequent reputation as a recreation and business activity. It also explains why soccer is not much developed compared to other sports giving the drawbacks, and highlights the impacts that the league has on Americans and the economy. The major soccer league happens to be in completion with other professional leagues of sports within the United States of America, like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and National League Hockey which are far much developed than it is. In comparison, the MLS is still new, since it has only been around in a less time and there the culture within people makes it difficult to even come up with large crowds as the other sports in the country.
If the lifespan of the Major Soccer league is put under consideration, it can be said that it has now gained a better and newer spectrum in the sport of soccer, and this can be attested to by the fact portrayed in several studies carried out about the league. In their study, Clapp and Hakes (2005), have argued the efficiency for the major soccer league in the market of leagues to improve the nation’s economy has been on the rise in a steady manner. They tried to make their argument on the basis of the number of fans in the stadiums, given the fact that the revenue collected by the various organizations that govern the soccer league is determined by the number of fans in attendance. The number of fans in attendance has also been dependent on the performance of the team in the field of play, and the team’s performance also depends upon the determination of the various players on the pitch. The players will also become motivated by the fact that the management of the team will make a consideration to be able to give the players a greater, bigger and better incentives. The management of the team can also make an influence on the player’s motivation by trying to bring in newer players in the major soccer league which in turn bring in a newer fresh blood and make the players play even harder on the pitch. Moreover, the fans will be motivated to come into the stadium and have a look at the greater players that have a better game and also possesses greater skills of play (Clapp & Hakes 2005).
The other factor that happens to be a booster for the growth of this major soccer league is that, the combined numbers of television viewership for this league has brought about the growth being witnessed. This can also be attributed to the fact that the efficiency of performance in the teams within major soccer league, where the players become motivated to play even harder and thereby makes a greater contribution to the economy of the country.
Given the fact that the growth of the major soccer league has been largely attributed to the fact the numbers in the stadium, the novelty in the stadium creates a greater effect and in turn brings about a boom for the attendance to grow up (Kiuchi 2014). If a team is to boost on the numbers of fans being witnessed in the stadium, the management of the teams has to consider the fact that the level of appearance in the stadium has to be increased. This will in turn create a honeymoon effect where the fans have enough space to be able to watch the games that are going on in the field. Research shows that the attendance in a stadium will eventually receive a boost immediately if the stadium becomes upgraded or moved (Kiuchi 78). The research shows that the average number of attendance in fans often increase at about 22.2% within the first season if the team upgrades or moves to a new stadium, and also a decline of attendance in about 63% within the teams in the major soccer league has been experienced if the teams doesn’t upgrade or even relocate to newer stadiums.
However, there should be an understanding of this current status in the major soccer league on the basis of the efficiency scale so as to compare the past failures that have happened in it and then make up some strategies in the league so that the growth continues to be witnessed. They should have the ability to be able to learn from the past mistakes and have policies to prevent such from recurring. The various teams should come up with their own methods to counter the challenges that they ate facing in the major soccer league to be able to continue the growth.
The MLS also does have a very stiff competition in the global arena for viewership by the worldwide fans in the sense that its popularity when compared to the other soccer leagues in the world isn’t much. The ones that happens to be so much popular leagues of soccer are in the Europe, the likes of German Bundesliga, having been around for a very long time since 1963 and the soccer league of England, the EPL, which has been around as a professional league from the 1800s. This also makes it very difficult for the major soccer league to grow as it can not even be able to sustain the pressure put on it to buy expensive players that make the fans shift their focus on famous leagues. It was also noted that the wage bill in this league compared to the other leagues in the world was still very low, making it hard to attract the best players that always end up in the big leagues. This however could be the major factor leading to its reduced growth and if looked at could tremendously help in its growth.
In his book, Kiuchi (2014) explains the business of soccer and what it means to professionals. The book also explains how soccer is influenced by high school, youth and the national soccer. It also gives an explanation of how the media, the community, the hooliganism and the general nation have impacted by the game. The above information is very useful in drawing the conclusions in the study.
Favorito (2012) also does explain the importance of the media in the growth of sports. Favorito, a former VP of PR for New York Knicks, explains that the history of sport and media is very unique in the sense that it is the media that can make the sport to grow in any setting, and he does also predict the proliferation of the sport with the increasing media coverage. The correlation of the media and major sports such as soccer has helped them grow tremendously and hence if it were possible for the major soccer league to get this media coverage in a broader perspective it would also grow just like the other soccer league that have indeed witnessed growth.
Algeris and Nage (2015) have in their study uncovered the drivers of turnout at the Major-League Soccer and the other major leagues. The factors that facilitates the growth of the league have also been cited in the study such as the various changes that have taken place and also the marketing efforts put in place for the MLS to undergone tremendous growth such as stadium constructions, signing of star players from some of the famous leagues, and increased competition on the global platform. The study also explains that the league continues to leapfrog major football leagues in the world because of the good strategies it has put into place to be able to fight the stiff completion especially in the viewership sector.
Rosner and Shropshire (2011) tries to explain that the sports industry is a business entity of its own and highlights major issues that impact the industry. Moreover, the book covers the main disciplines of finance, marketing and accounting which are all necessary to be done for any business to prosper in an easier way. The authors have also explained that the league has impacted the economy of the United States in the sense that it has helped in its growth. Just like the other businesses have played a part in the growth of the American economy, the soccer league has also played its part in the growth of the economy.
Spectator or the fans attendance is a factor that is very important when it comes to a sports league success, and it is with no doubt the driving force of any league in the world. Therefore, the Major-League Soccer (MLS) should use various different methods or even strategies to be able to come up with an increase in the spectator numbers or the rates of attendance. Since MLS was started in the year 1996, numbers of attendance have
grown, but still they are lower when currently compared to other professional soccer
leagues like the European leagues and even other sports in United States like Football League.
The study was conducted for the purpose of examining the Major-League Soccer and how it is fairing in comparison to the other professional leagues of sports, with the intention that the information obtained will be helpful towards continued growth of the MLS. The selected different leagues or organizations were then compared with the MLS in terms of the competitive balance, the very same existence of best star players, and conditions of the stadiums the team do play in were all factors that were found to impact on the growth of the MLS. The spectator attendance or the rate of attendance was also noted as a major contributing factor in the sense that the world major developed leagues and other sports had a bigger viewership than MLS making the grow more than it.
The conclusion in this study was drawn based on the various findings within this study. The various conclusions that were drawn are; The selected sports leagues or professional game have put into place the methods or strategies that they use to gain higher spectator attendance rates which in turn boost the growth of their leagues. In the other selected leagues, it can be seen that whenever a team plays in a newer stadium or even a newer league after maybe say a promotion from the lower levels, there most certainly is an increase in the attendance of spectator. Evidence suggests that there is no increase in numbers of fans in the major soccer league but in the other leagues like Germany’s Bundesliga there is showing there is an increase in the number of spectators and their attendance in the stadiums, especially for the teams that play in specific stadiums. This however has contributed to the tremendous growth of such leagues due to this particular consistency. It was also noted that when star players come into the sports leagues like MLB, NFL, and NBA they will primarily bring a major impact they will initiate a growth by the respective teams in that particular league of sport. It will also increase the spectator attendance since they will be expected to raise the level the game in that team and in turn raise their performance, and that is what the fans want. This will also increase the revenue of the teams and hence the league grows.
The above conclusions in the study led to the recommendations that; The Major-League Soccer have the obligation and mandate to continue with the implementation of the rules that have been put into place to be able to create a high competitive performance and be at par with the other major sports leagues in the world at large. It also should raise the designated number of star players in every team as much as the team can allow, either from having only three to raise it and be four in number. This is because evidence shows that these new star players will most definitely raise the attendance of the league. The owners of MLS and their franchises have to continue building soccer talents and come up with better stadiums for the increasing numbers of spectators. A Future study should be done to examine a number of organizations or sports leagues, including those organizations which are not in the top worldwide. The future study should be able to examine the various variables that also affect the sport such as such as franchise venture, weather, and even the ticket prices in various leagues.
Algeris, S. & Nagel, M. S. (2015). An Investigation of Major League Soccer Attendance.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Berri, D. J. & Schmidt, M. B. (2001). Competitive balance and attendance the case of Major
League Baseball. Journal of Sports Economics, 2, 145-167.
Clapp, C. M. & Hakes, J. K. (2005). How long a honeymoon? The effect of new stadiums on
attendance in Major League Baseball. Journal of Sports Economics, 6, 236-263.
Dure, B. (2010). Long-range goals: The success story of major league soccer. Washington, D.C:
Favorito, J. (2012). Sports publicity: A practical approach. Routledge.
Kiuchi, Y. (2014). Soccer culture in America: Essays on the world’s sport in red, white and blue.
Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2014.
Markovits, A. S. & Hellerman, S. L. (2001). Offside: Soccer and American exceptionalism.
Princeton. N.J: Princeton University Press.
Rosner, S. & Shropshire, K. L. (2011). The business of sports. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett
- What worked well and why?
Finding and being able to pull together the different resources for coming up with this study went well. Although some of the works done previously on the subject had slightly varying information, there were multiple sources which had the relevant information that I used to be able to come up with findings for this study. At the end of it all, the approach I employed in researching for the paper helped me write a research paper that is much elaborate on the subject matter.
- What would you do with more time and why?
Given much time I would definitely have done an examination of a lot more organizations or sports leagues, including those organizations which are not in the top worldwide. I would have been able to examine also the various variables that also affect the sports such as such as franchise venture, weather during the day of the game, and even how the ticket prices in various leagues has affected their growth.
- What grade (or grade range) do you feel you have earned and why?
I think that I really deserve an A because I spent a lot of time doing an extensive research about the subject eventually being able to come up with various factors that have led to growth of the major sports leagues in the world. I have also cited properly the works in my paper.