Monday, January 14, 2013

"Grace of its Star Power" is the NWSL Business Plan?

New women's pro league allot players

The National Women’s Soccer League was only a month and a half old and the players had been assigned to their clubs just minutes earlier. But on social media, the Portland Thorns were already being crowned the 2013 champions.

They were perceived as having made out the best in the budding league’s initial allocation of 55 United States, Canadian and Mexican national team players to eight clubs across the country. When starting a professional league from scratch, especially one with a finite number of established stars, such early imbalance is to be expected. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Fox Sports.

Kicking Back Comments: Near the bottom of the article the author details what he believes will be the difference between the WUSA, WPS, and the NWSL. Specifically why it will succeed. From the article:

"If this league is to survive – unlike the two predecessors, the WUSA and WPS, which were both felled by their problematic economics and attendance in just the last decade – it will probably do so by the grace of its star power."

I truly hope there is more to the business plan than this. Fame is fleeting. WUSA should have made that clear enough. Now a better answer is that US Soccer, as well as the Canadian and Mexican federations are paying the freight for the National Team players (where are my membership fees going again ... to referee development?).

Please don't rest the hopes of this last (IMHO) women league of my generation on fame. While the names of the US WNT are known in some circles now, give it a couple of years and let's see what happens.

Another aspect of a successful league it the ownership. Mr. Magic Jack ground the WPS league to a halt with his nonsense. What has the NWSL done to prevent a reoccurrence this time around?

The players have been allocated by a "board of experts" and apparently takes into consideration where players want to play, and what markets they will play to. While the first element is easy to match, the second, not so much.

From jump the league is slanted to the West, Pacific Northwest specifically, and the league itself agrees. Seems all too contrived to be competitive ... but in business ... you want to set yourself up for success. This is business folks ... not soccer in its purest form.

We'll see where it goes, but as I have opined here before, I think if NWSL fails, it's the third strike. In this fragile economy where taxes are up and folks have even less disposable income, getting attendance will be tougher than ever.

I hope it is a wild success personally, but if the "plan" is the "grace of its star power", they will be done in a year, two tops.


  1. Hello! In this entry did you use the information from some studies or here are fully your private ideas? Waiting forward to hear your answer.

    1. Sir Roberto,

      Both answers are the best to answer your question.

      The Fox Sports article talks about "star power" as a marketing tool, and I opine that if that is it, NWSL will not last long.

      My other comments are grounded in bona fide news sources (e.g. the "board of experts" that has distributed players) with my opinion stitching them together.

      Thanks for reading.