Today’s blog post, on the growth of soccer in North America.
Soccer – in particular MLS – has succeeded by carving out a niche (through careful expansion and the cultivation of friendly stadiums and strong fan-bases), gaining exposure and familiarity (largely through greater youth registration), and catering relentlessly to their fan/consumer base. It may not be the sport of the future, but it’s a big part of the sporting landscape in the present, and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue to be for a long time.
The Los Angeles Kings are the presumptive Stanley Cup winner (and may actually be the winner by the time you read this). I wrote about lessons we can all take from their success:
The Kings’ success in acquiring talent put them in a position to add the right pieces to flesh out a Stanley Cup contender. While in other industries you won’t have the benefit of trading talent (imagine if you could draft the best grads out of school!), but you can take to heart the lesson of timing – going above scope, or paying extra, to attract the right talent for the right initiative at the right time.
Street soccer is a great initiative supporting those who have, or are experiencing homelessness. Add a Sam Cooke soundtrack and you get one fantastic video.
Great discussion about sports:
Obama: Well, it’s funny, the mythology of sports is just — it’s deeply embedded in us. I remember I visited Iraq as a senator, and I think at that point I had already started running for president, but I can’t remember. Anyway, they invited me to go into this gym, and there were like 3,000 of our troops there. And somebody just handed me a ball and said, “Come on, Mr. President, take a shot.” And I said, OK, and I shot it and swished it from the 3-point line. And the amount of excitement that those folks had was surprising to me.
But I think it just sort of reminded me of the kind of bond that sports creates in people. People — for all our differences politically, regionally, economically — most folks understand sports. Probably because it’s one of the few places where it’s a true meritocracy. There’s not a lot of BS. Ultimately, who’s winning, who’s losing, who’s performing, who’s not — it’s all laid out there.