Something the NFL and MLB could learn from MLS
The Kansas City Star
The worst part about being a fan — other than the days your team starts Luke Hochevar or Matt Cassel, I suppose — might be the feeling of insignificance. It doesn’t happen all the time, or hopefully even that often. But when it does, man, it really sucks.
The math works against fans, of course. Depending on the team there are thousands or even millions of them, and if one drops off, the team’s bottom line stays the same. It’s no different than other businesses that way, but customers don’t invest their identity into their favorite brand of apple or gym sock the way they do sports teams.
I always thought this was part of the Save Our Chiefs movement — a wildly passionate fan base that begins to feel ignored and wants to be heard.
Anyway, as has become its custom, MLS is providing a template that larger leagues would do well to copy. This weekend — Thursday through Sunday — Sporting Park is host to what is called the Independent Supporters Council of the United States and Canada Annual Meeting. All but one team will have a fan representative at the meetings, where they’ll discuss various topics from away fan ticketing and security to trademark issues. A league representative will be there tomorrow to talk about how it can help.
Now, I should say right up front that I have no idea what will come of these meetings. I also can’t say with certainty that the NFL or MLB don’t have a rough equivalent. But I do know that it’s a good idea to involve fans as much as possible — and this will only grow more important as time goes on — and all due respect to MLB’s Fan Cave and the NFL’s Hall of Fans neither league is nearly as effective as MLS at making fans feel like part of the process.
That’s a good thing. Worth recognizing.