Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Insurance giant AIG will not renew its shirt sponsorship of Manchester United.
The American company also said in an email sent to Reuters that it was “in active discussions” with the club regarding the current four-year $100 million deal, which runs until next May.
Owen Wyatt is joined by football consultant Alex Fynn to discuss the implications of AIG’s decision. How worried should football be about sponsorship problems and the credit crunch?
Reuters reporter Ben Klayman takes a look at the just finished Major League Soccer season, from a business perspective, and finds that the much-anticipated ‘Beckham bounce’ doesn’t seem to have happened. He writes:
Two years after David Beckham joined the league, Major League Soccer is facing many headwinds in addition to the declining economy as it attempts to establish itself as a major player on the sports landscape.While Beckham’s signing in 2007 helped boost the league’s public awareness and put more fans in the seats, television ratings for the young league remain stagnant and some analysts said the MLS will never be more than a minor player behind football, baseball and basketball.
There are few teams making money yet out of the MLS (although the same could be said of most clubs in debt-ridden European leagues) but, as Ben notes, there are plenty of investors still wanting a piece of the action:
Enough people believe in the MLS that seven bidders hope to be one of the 2011 expansion teams, including groups with the owner of the National Football League’s Atlanta team, a partnership that includes the Barcelona soccer club and the owner of the National Hockey League team in Montreal.