FCD Thoughts: Who’s To Blame

FCD Thoughts: Who’s To Blame

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 30, 2009
  • 8 Comments
  • Soccer Marketing

Empty stands are a theme this year in Dallas. (Photo by 3rdDegree.net's Matt Visinsky)

I’ve had to think about this for a while. Not just the start of this season here in Dallas but probably all the way back to the start of last season. Its like the club is missing way too much, not just on the field but definitely off. The numbers don’t lie in either instance.

The club is just bad.

We know on the field the club is more in transition here than anything else. Head coach Schellas Hyndman is still trying to figure out the professional game and the longer it takes the more you have to wonder when he will finally get it. Most of us here in Dallas feel he won’t go anywhere anytime soon or get canned anytime soon by the Hunts, so it’s up to him or someone around him to figure this all out.

In a nutshell the offense is actually close from looking at least decent, the midfield has potential and the defense is just terrible. The additions of Steve Purdy and Daniel Torres almost seem like more of a downgrade to the bunch that started a season ago.

But when you get off the field the problems seem to go a little deeper. The crowds aren’t showing up and the club just looks even worse for it.

I found these numbers for season tickets over at Ginge’s site, he makes a note that the club isn’t even getting half the numbers that expansion clubs Portland and Vancouver are getting in their ticket deposits. Mainly what it comes down to is more than just excitement surrounding a new club in my eyes. Dallas has been in PHP for a couple years now and it seems like the move was good in a business sense but right now it just hasn’t been a great move in terms of butts-in-seats with season ticket numbers going down 15% from last year.

It is a big issue really, marketing in Dallas is terrible for the club. Drive around the town and you see hardly any billboards for the club, or any other form of marketing for the club. We know clubs share ideas in the single entity system of the league but when will clubs like Dallas get on board with ideas from clubs like Seattle, Toronto, or Salt Lake and get a good marketing campaign for their club?

At yesterday’s game we all saw the generous attendance figure of just north of 6,000 people. Had it not been for the supporter’s groups in the stadium (which stayed loud thankfully throughout the game) we probably could have heard everything that was going on the pitch like in a youth league game. Pathetic.

Blame Michael Hitchcock, blame the Hunts, blame whomever. The club just isn’t getting it done off the field and their on field product isn’t helping out.

The club has the marketing tools in place to do something great but it seems like they come up short in actually doing anything with them. The stadium is their biggest tool (even in Frisco, which is a good 30 minutes or more north of downtown Dallas), followed by their youth system and even down to their new cheerleading bunch. If they’d learn to market every little thing from the stadium, to the coach, the main players (even some no-name young guys), the cheerleaders, and even the youth system they could actually see quality numbers.

Dallas may very well be the last club in the league that markets towards the families of four with little kids who play the game rather than market towards the actual soccer fan.

Its not that Dallas hates soccer because it doesn’t at all. Its just comes down to simple marketing that isn’t taking place for this club. Dallas is the type of sports town that pays attention when you throw the right thing at them and at a constant pace. FC Dallas isn’t throwing anything at the average fan right now which is why we see terrible numbers in the stands.

I guess for me I am just waiting to see the club get smart here about what they have in place. It really shouldn’t take much to get people interested down here. Hell if people support the Rangers like they do they can surely do the same for a soccer club that is in the same boat as the baseball team that year-after-year is just as bad.

Got any ideas, share them here.

  • mitch

    well, i'm not from dallas, i do make the trip down from midland several times a year to catch some games …however, i do have several friends that live in dallas that barely know of fcd…the miniscule paper coverage, but rangers and dallas cowboys crap is all over…i don't see any sort of advertising at all to be honest…i totally agree – the advertising should be targeting younger people that want to have a beer and watch a damn soccer game…the family thing is nice, but they'd go see it anyway…advertise to the people who have the potential to grow as fans and actually enjoy and experience the game, rather than using it as children's entertainment.

  • tony

    Problem is, they are just so bad. I have been a season ticket holder the last 2 years. It is getting a bit difficult to go watch a team that appears so listless.

  • mitch

    well, i’m not from dallas, i do make the trip down from midland several times a year to catch some games …however, i do have several friends that live in dallas that barely know of fcd…the miniscule paper coverage, but rangers and dallas cowboys crap is all over…i don’t see any sort of advertising at all to be honest…i totally agree – the advertising should be targeting younger people that want to have a beer and watch a damn soccer game…the family thing is nice, but they’d go see it anyway…advertise to the people who have the potential to grow as fans and actually enjoy and experience the game, rather than using it as children’s entertainment.

  • Problem is, they are just so bad. I have been a season ticket holder the last 2 years. It is getting a bit difficult to go watch a team that appears so listless.

  • Josh from WV

    I was wondering how long Kenny Cooper would fill the seats in Dallas. Spend some money on a DP for the love of god. 6500 fans cannot be tolerated in this league, the front office needs to go.

  • Vnice

    Anything below 15 thousand in this league is a real problem. Crew needs to figure their situation out, as well. I think they should start tying in their appeal to hockey lovers up there.<br />
    <br />
    As for Dallas, it's time to put on the full-court press. If a team is bad, who cares. People support teams that are visible, and TRY to do the right things. People stop coming when they are invisible, or they do obviously counterproductive things. FCD doesn't need to be great, they just need to be a visible part of the community.

  • Josh from WV

    I was wondering how long Kenny Cooper would fill the seats in Dallas. Spend some money on a DP for the love of god. 6500 fans cannot be tolerated in this league, the front office needs to go.

  • Vnice

    Anything below 15 thousand in this league is a real problem. Crew needs to figure their situation out, as well. I think they should start tying in their appeal to hockey lovers up there.

    As for Dallas, it’s time to put on the full-court press. If a team is bad, who cares. People support teams that are visible, and TRY to do the right things. People stop coming when they are invisible, or they do obviously counterproductive things. FCD doesn’t need to be great, they just need to be a visible part of the community.