The Reuters global sports blog
MLS looks to ‘eye candy’ to win over new fans
Working to break through the clutter in the crowded North American sports market, Major league Soccer has teamed up with CosmoGirl.com to show off its best-looking young players, or “eye candy” as the website dubs them.
Fifteen MLS players, or “playas,” are on display at the website of Cosmopolitan’s teen magazine. Ranging in age from 19 to 27, the players are shown in photos both in action and relaxing off the soccer pitch.
The introduction: “Thought you had to travel abroad to look at some serious soccer hotties? Not anymore! We tracked down Major League Soccer’s most talented guys-next-door and got them to reveal some serious dating dirt! Find out what these cuties are looking for in a girl while staring at their steamy pics.”
For instance, Chance Myers (pictured), the 21-year-old Kansas City Wizards defender, lists his dating status as “taken” and reveals a girl who catches his eye is wearing “a sweet hat!.” Meanwhile, 23-year-old goaltender Danny Capero of the New York Red Bulls calls kissing on the first date “absolutely necessary”. (Sorry girls, he’s taken).
Robbie Rogers, the single, 21-year-old midfielder for the Columbus Crew, when asked to describe himself in three words, replied: “That’s easy…the three F’s: fun, friendly and fysical!”
The MLS has held up relatively well amid the recession thanks to lower ticket costs. The 15-team U.S. professional soccer league has pushed ahead with expansion despite the slowdown, with plans to add teams in Philadelphia in 2010 and Vancouver and Portland in 2011.
MLS officials said the CosmoGirl.com campaign is part of the sport’s efforts to branch beyond its 18-34 male target market and reach young women.