Spectator Attendance Strategies: A Best Practices Examination of MLS Expansion Franchises

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Schomburg, Bryce
Major League Soccer; spectator; attendance; marketing strategies; team affiliation; social interaction; Sports Management; Sports Studies
article description
The expansion of Major League Soccer (MLS) has dramatically raised league awareness throughout the nation. This impact was influenced by the additional consideration organizations have paid to the role of spectator attendance within professional sports. The purpose of this study was to examine the best practices for spectator attendance strategies employed by recent MLS expansion franchises. The following organizations were evaluated for the comparative analysis: Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and New York City FC. These organizations were analyzed through a best practices comparison guide developed by the researcher. Data were collected from the selected teams’ websites, third party organization analysis, and the website for each franchise’s supporters group. The results demonstrate that the franchises design spectator attendance strategies unique to their respective cities. This study recommends that MLS franchises pay greater attention to their social interaction elements and increase the team’s community involvement to successfully connect with their fans.