You may not realize it, but marketing guru Seth Godin and soccer go very well together. That’s because many of Godin’s ideas apply just as well to the sport as they do to consumer products like iPods and Zunes.
There’s a movement right now in America. But if you pick up a newspaper, talk to co-workers, or watch mainstream television, it’s invisible. Instead, the growing popularity of soccer is happening — for the most part — via the internet. Hence the rise in interest in soccer podcasts, web sites, message boards, streaming audio, online chats and the like. It’s how fans of the sport soccer, a very thin niche, are able to connect with each other like never before.
In today’s blog post by Godin, he tackles the “Top 10 Secrets of the Marketing Process.” While the English Premier League has mastered the marketing of its league around the world, many of the tips that Godin provides remind me of what Major League Soccer needs to do.
Taking Godin’s tips, here are just a few that apply to MLS:
You won’t get it right the first time. Your campaign will need to be reinvented, adjusted or scrapped. Count on it. (MLS has grown over time, but it needs to keep on continuing to improve and learn from the mistakes its making).
Read and learn. There are a million clues, case studies, books and proven tactics out there. You can’t profitably ignore them until you know them, and you don’t have the time or the money to make the same mistake someone else made last week. It’s cheaper and faster to read about it than it is to do it. (MLS needs to listen to the soccer experts and fans in this country who are voting with their feet and preaching the steps that MLS needs to make to succeed. So far, those ideas have have fallen on deaf ears).
If it makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea. If you’re sure you’re right, you probably aren’t. (MLS has been very cautious about the steps it has taken to grow the league. It’s about time the league takes the nervous step to combine the teams into one league. However, it looks like they may have due to the expansion in Toronto which will create an odd number of teams in the eastern division).