MLS: SuperLiga Adding To the SUM


In my last post I prompted a discussion that centers around SUM and its relationship to MLS. If you are unaware of Soccer United Marketing(SUM), it was created at a time when the league was in danger of folding. Just 5 years after its first season in 1996, the league was looking at contraction and possibly worse. It was then that new commissioner Don Garber convinced league investors to pony up the money for the US broadcast rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup from the German company that had originally purchased the rights from FIFA. Here are a few background articles that do a far better job than I to get caught up with some sum history.

U.S. Soccer, a World Cup Dud, Sustains Pro League With TV Deals – Curtis Eichelberger – July 7, 2006

Tapping Into a Gold Mine – Ridge Mahoney – May 1, 2007

How Don Garber helped MLS get its game on – Tripp Mickle – March 16, 2009

Note that if you see articles with bylines of either Mickle or Mahoney, read them. Their reports on the business of soccer are usually a cut above.

And that brings us back to what started this discussion, SuperLiga 2009. Haters of this tourney can take heart from this…
In its first year, hello David Beckham, the event drew an average of over 17,300 for the first 8 matches. Last year over the same period, the event pulled in just under 15,900. This year, after match day 2, the numbers have plummeted to an average of 8,152. Additionally, as bad as it sounds, it’s actually worse. In the first two years of SuperLiga, each group match(12 total) were single game events. This year, on the matchday that pits the MLS teams against each other and the Mexican teams against each other, the groups played doubleheaders, effectively halving matchday 2 attendance potential.

To illustrate, matchday 2 attendance in 2008 was just over 66,800; this year just over 14,500. Without knowing the inside financial details of the SUM event, it could be inferred that the stadium expense for two extra venues, plus any extra travel expenses were calculated to yield the highest return and pointed to using 2 locations vs 4 . But I doubt the SUM anticipated such a precipitous drop in gate attendance. The event’s Mexican broadcasters and de facto partners FMF(Mexico’s USSF) will only be concerned with how the sponsorships, ratings and ad sales come in.

SuperLiga 2009 – Matchday 2
Group A
Game ScorePts 
Chicago16Chicago – MLSNet
Chivas USA00Chivas USA – MLSNet
San Luis33San Luis – Wikipedia
Tigres UANL13Tigres UANL – Wikipedia
Group B
New England14Revolution Soccer
Kansas City12Kansas City – Hillcrest Road
Atlas02Atlas – The Offside
Santos Laguna01Santos Laguna – Wikipedia
25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family


  1. Ture June 25, 2009
  2. Jesse June 26, 2009
  3. eplnfl June 26, 2009
  4. Peter C June 26, 2009
  5. Lee June 26, 2009
  6. Kartik Krishnaiyer June 27, 2009
  7. Lars June 27, 2009
  8. Peter C June 27, 2009
  9. eplnfl June 27, 2009

Leave a Reply

Translate »