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Monday, April 30, 2012

The TMZ Effect on MLS

















Salacious headlines is not the first thing that comes to mind when the American public thinks of Major League Soccer.  Most people in America probably don't even know what MLS stands for exactly.  Many might say Multiple Listing Service, representing real estate and homes, which is what appears first on a Google search (MLS.com).  Suffice it to say, if the question was narrowed to include sports only, still a big percentage would not know the answer.

If the public was asked who TMZ was or what the initials stood for, probably most would not have a clue about the initials (Thirty Mile Zone), but a decent percentage would probably respond by saying it's that TV show that follows celebrities around.  How much percentage difference is there for the public knowing TMZ or MLS is hard to say, but more probably know TMZ.

As an entertainment news service, TMZ has done an impressive job in covering pop culture stories, even breaking some really big ones, including Tiger's love affairs, Mel Gibson's rants, Michael Jackson's Death and many of the starlets in trouble with the law.  Other news services rely heavily on TMZ's reporting because of the accuracy they have achieved from so many stories they have done in the past and in the present.  TMZ has this unusual reputation as respected, controversial, topical and racy.

TMZ purposely starts discussions to get headlines, like it has done in the past, comparing LA Galaxy players wives, David Beckham's vs. Robbie Keane's.  'Who would you rather?' is their way of phrasing the beauty contest.

It's probably a safe bet to say that most viewers of TMZ.com's television show or readers to their website are not huge Soccer fans.  The motivation to watch TMZ or go to their website is to get more acquainted with the day's most interesting headlines in the entertainment world.  Sports figures have been known to get lots of exposure on TMZ, but stereotypical sports fans are most likely not TMZ's bread n' butter followers.

Regarding the happenings with MLS players, the only possible result for followers of TMZ is to become a fan of MLS, not become a fan or to just pass the information off to someone else who might care more.  In other words, MLS is getting some pretty awesome publicity out of TMZ.  The fact that they are showing interest and displaying it for so many other Americans to see from shining sea, provides MLS a platform they would unlikely ever be able to achieve on their own.

Keane's debut with the Galaxy last season was fantastic, as he became an instrumental part in helping the Galaxy with MLS Cup 2011.  Keane may have also been a positive influence in Beckham's decision to re-up in LA for more years.

For many reasons, the League desperately needs the Galaxy to become a dynasty, winning multiple Cups.  A successful Hollywood team provides more negotiating power with sponsors and TV networks.

If the contemporary Galaxy of Keane, Beckham and Donovan do achieve a lasting legacy, they can thank TMZ, who in their own way, is contributing greatly to building the Galaxy and MLS brands.

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