Home > Misc. junk, Philadelphia Union > More proof of Philadelphia’s large, passionate fan base for soccer

More proof of Philadelphia’s large, passionate fan base for soccer

The excellent footiebusiness blog provides us with an interview of Cara Joftis, the Union’s VP of marketing.

FB: Philadelphia is a sports mad city with strong passions for teams that have been passed down through generations.  What can the Union do to penetrate those mainstream sports fans?  Should that be a goal of marketing efforts?  Is it important to gain exposure on mainstream sports outlets like WIP?

CJ: A recent Wharton study showed that approximately 1.5million people in Philadelphia DMA identify themselves as avid soccer fans.  There is an extremely strong fan base for soccer.  We talk to those people and do not go after people who are not interested in soccer.  Approximately 80% of our founding members do not have season tickets to any other professional sports team in town.

FB: What lessons can the Union take from the marketing success of Seattle and Toronto?  Similarly, what lessons can the Union take from some of the marketing mis-steps of the early years in the League?

CJ: Seattle and Toronto have done a terrific job of staying true to the sport and authentic to their fans.  That is definitely something that we also strive for.

So just to review, that’s 1.5 million self-identified avid soccer fans. And 80% of the team’s founding members do not hold season tickets to any other local professional sports teams. Wow. Here’s looking forward to a big, loud, passionate first season.

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  1. Arkose
    January 23, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I wonder if The Union plan to use some of the gimmicks and made atmosphere that made Seattle so crazy last year. Pre game walk with band and so forth. I know the purest in soccer hate what Seattle has done with the band and so forth. You can’t argue the success it had last year. The biggest reason is that Seattle cared about the game day experience and the fans. I wonder what take the Union will take.

    What happens here in Columbus on game days? nothing, not even that great of tailgating.

  2. Stan
    January 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    The lack of tailgating in Columbus is probably due to the unpaved parking lot. The money has been allocated, and eventually that will be fixed.

    On the other part, you make a point. I liked the last question and wish Ms Joftis had really answered it.

    • K.M. Morris
      January 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

      I agree, Stan. A pretty weak answer to a good question.

      As for Arkose’s point: I don’t know what the team is planning for gameday atmosphere (or what the SoB are planning, for that matter), but I doubt they will fail to learn from Seattle’s example. I also doubt these guys are lacking for creativity and passion.

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