A couple weeks ago Major League Soccer started its 17th season. As MLS’s popularity continues to grow, we compiled a list of seven things you can do to help grow the game and this league.
#1 Give soccer balls
If you have children and you are reading this, odds are your kids will be MLS fans. But what about all the other children you know? Your relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors may all at some point have new little bundles of joy in their lives, and these babies know nothing about soccer. You have a chance to change this! You can buy that child his or her first soccer ball, and bring soccer into that person’s life.
A good friend of mine does exactly this. He buys every newborn in his circle of friends and family a size 1 soccer ball (the smallest they make). They are cheap and the perfect size for any baby. You can buy an size 1 soccer ball at Walmart for $4.99. And because it’s only $5, it’s an easy gift for anyone from close friends to acquaintances.
#2 Watch a game with a friend
Most Americans have never watched a MLS match. You can help change that. You can invite a friend over to watch a game, or better yet you can take that person to a game.
Soccer is the most popular game in the world for a reason. People like it! As more and more people are exposed to MLS, I have no doubt that the league will gain more fans.
#3 Go out for a match
Does your local sports bar carry MLS games? If so, go out, watch the match and support that bar!
If your local bar usually doesn’t show MLS, you can help change that. Most sports bars will show any game people want to watch. If you’re in a bar and you want to watch the MLS game, just ask. I’ve done this several times, and they’ve always put the game on one of the TVs.
#4 Record every MLS game
My wife is a big Conan O’Brien fan. When he first took over the Tonight Show his rating weren’t good. In order to support him, she set our DVR to record every show even if she never planned on watching them. We still do this. We’re only one household, but whether we’re home or not, our TV always turns to Conan when it comes on. And we do this for MLS too.
Even if two teams that I have no interest in watching are playing on ESPN, I’ll record it knowing full well that I’ll just delete it later. I want the league to have better ratings, and I’m doing my part. If just 10,000 people recorded matches that they never planned on watching, and they did this for a whole season (like me) I think it could make an impact. If 100,000 people did this, I’m sure it would.
So if you have a DVR consider setting a pass to record every MLS game. It’s a free and easy way to support the league.
#5 Call a radio show
Local sports radio shows talk local sports. If you have an MLS team in your area, call your local sports radio to talk about. And if you have satellite radio you can call one of their soccer shows too. One of my favorites is The Football Show on Sirius 92.
#6 Bet on soccer
I’m a gambler. I have never watched a WNBA game, but I’ve bet on them. I can say the same for a few Eastern European soccer leagues as well. I grew up playing American football, but I won’t watch a college football game unless I have money on it. I also run a website titled “Bet MLS Soccer”. I know a few things about sports betting…
The NFL will never admit this, but one of the reasons that it’s so popular is that people love to bet on it. Walk into any Las Vegas sportsbook on a Sunday during football season, and you will see every chair filled and people standing, watching the games. Then ask any bookie in America what sport people bet the most, and he will tell you the NFL.
Gambling has definitely drawn people to the NFL, and it could bring fans to MLS too. Some people just love to bet on games, and it doesn’t much matter what sport they’re betting on. The more people who bet on MLS, the more prominence the betting community will put on the games. This in turn will lead to more people betting on and watching the league. Local bookies could start taking MLS action, and the next thing you know you’d be able to watch MLS matches in every sports bar across the country. It’s possible.
#7 Talk about MLS
If you are interested in Major League Soccer, and you’re passionate about it, it will come across when you talk about. People will become interested, and want to learn more about the league. They will become fans and talk about it to others. Its popularity will grow, and professional soccer will become one of the most followed sports in America.
So talk to friends about the league. Tweet about it. Share articles and news on Facebook. Start a blog. Do whatever you would normally do for something that you’re passionate about, and you will help grow this sport in America.
If you have comments or any other ideas about how to Major League Soccer, please leave us a note in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!