And the ownership then takes a very hands off role in the whole process. They're assuming the role of the financial backer and that's it. They want to make money, sure. But you make your money by having a winning team. Red Bull (the product) is going to continue to sell regardless. It has successfully carved such a foot hold in the world that there is little concern of it going away. Especially with all of their branding efforts aside from this team. No business is going to waste its time with a venture that won't make any money. That's just irresponsible and goes against everything they have done to get to their current point. Their goal is to win because that's how they will make their money off this investment. That's why they supply the money and empower individuals to spend it as necessary to build a winner.
Obviously its not an obsolete notion. But its not nearly as limiting as you still seem to think it is. It used to be a representation of a group of people or a region. But it isn't limited to that anymore. A Red Sox fan not from New England isn't any less of a Red Sox fan. Teams represent a fan base and the people that compose that base more than just a community now. A team's market has expanded so greatly (even on a "localized" level) that it can't be tied to such a tiny region anymore. On top of that, it's a totally different ball game when you're analyzing franchises that have been around for 100 years compared to ones that have been around for 10-30 years. They have entirely different foot holds, an entirely different legacy, and were founded in/operated in entirely different times and ages in sports. Franchises that were in existence when sports served as much more of an escape from the world's events (economic depression, world wars, etc) hold a totally different place in the history of not only their local region, but their country, than say a team like RBNY would, or the Devils would. Those franchises fill a role in our national heritage and can not be used to draw direct comparisons to younger franchises. Easy example to draw on. Ignore the years of on-field performance and compare the Yankees and Mets. They've both won, they've both had notable players, they've both established their place in their region. The role each franchise serves in that region though can not be compared. And that's in large part to the role the Yankees played in the first half of the 1900s and their place in American history. Age does actually matter here.
Now this is confusing the game of soccer on a world stage vs. the game of soccer as it stands in America. The moves you feel are done purely to increase exposure and profit also establish and develops the franchise's ability to attract talent. That exposure gives notoriety and makes it a more attractive destination for talent. The key for American soccer (MLS or on an international stage) to thrive is to develop the youth system. Increasing exposure and attractiveness of MLS will help grow the game domestically. Considering the rules in MLS about limiting the amount of international players on a team, this is a crucial point to develop domestically, create/improve upon youth academies, and develop domestic talent. Of course if the talent reaches a high enough level, it will likely relocate to Europe (as can be seen by a number of USMNT players now playing overseas). But increasing the notoriety of MLS may only help to keep that talent here, further improving the league itself. The exposure on a franchise level helps the team get a leg up in acquiring that talent. The team's in Europe do the same thing with their youth academies. Its a move that aims to build towards the European system, which works for soccer there. Mimicking it here is an attempt to grow the game here. Simple as that.
Sports operate on a totally different plane in Europe than they do here. The open system vs. the closed system creates an entirely different landscape for sports to operate on. European franchises are not profitable. Winning and fan support is all that exists. The more you win, the higher you climb, and the more financial opportunities your team has. While the franchise will still not be turning a profit, it is a huge factor in maintaining the team's operations. America's system operates as a for-profit closed system. Fans don't have that say. To have that say, you have to buy in to the team as an owner. Barriers for entry into American sports prevent you from getting in any other way, so that's how the system works. The only way fans make that kind of an impact is with 100% uniformed support for a cause, because then management has no choice but to listen, as operations can not exist with zero revenue stream. Get every single RBNY fan to join your cause and an impact can be made. Until then, its a non-issue because it won't exist. At the end of the day, the fans want their sport, their team, and will pay to do so. Cut off the revenue stream and get ownership's attention. But if you can't do that, then you're not getting anywhere with sports in this country. Europe is a totally different world in that regard, so you can't assume there is any real comparison to draw between the two (at least in terms of getting similar results).
There is a difference between posing a hypothetical question, and between creating a total unreasonable and unfounded scenario. One draws a response for a reasonable conversation. One is spewing thoughts for the sake of hearing your own thoughts spoken. There is no logical basis to the question. I've touched on why the league will not allow it, but even past that. From a business stand point it makes zero sense. If Red Bull is in it to make a profit and gain exposure, this is not the area they would turn. The Devils are 3rd billing in the general region for hockey (Rangers and Flyers would surpass them in exposure), and they definitely do not control a notable stake in the NY Metro market like the Rangers would. Red Bull would not want to throw away money into a venture that is losing money (the Devils) when they already have a brand presence in the area (with RBNY). A likely target would be a team that is well established in its region and that has potential for real international appeal and notability. If Red Bull were to get involved in the NHL, it would be with a top profile American franchise (the Red Wings, Rangers, or the Blackhawks), or it would be with a Canadian franchise (existing, or moving a franchise from elsewhere to a Canadian location). Your hypothetical is still entirely illogical.
If you really want to play your game, then fine. Red Bull buys the Devils. My reaction? This sucks, but oh well. Its still the same team, the same players, playing in the same place. My team is my team but it just has a new name/look. Its just the extreme version of changing jerseys/introducing a new logo. In this day and age, you can't walk 5 feet without being subject to tons of commercial advertising. Just because the logos would change in the Prudential Center doesn't make the impact of advertising any different.
And that right there is one more facet that makes your scenario irrelevant. Red Bull would not join in on a situation where they can not get their total branding control. There is an existing naming rights deal with Prudential which I am sure extends for another 5-10 years at the minimum. Why would Red Bull jump into a franchise where they can't have that control over branding. It just wouldn't happen. The out-clause on such a deal would probably add at least another $100 million to the expense just for the early termination of the contract. Makes it even more unrealistic and a totally irresponsible investment for Red Bull. THAT is why I ignored your senseless hypothetical question.
Again this goes back to my point above about how the European system of sports varies greatly from that of American sports. Almost no European soccer teams turn a profit. They all lose money every single year, with the exception of a few franchises. The reason they all continue to exist is because of large subsidies from boosters, supporters organizations, and the government. When those are your shareholders, you're at their mercy for what their demands are. There are ways to make a change in an ownership situation, depending on who the shareholders are and at what stake. That does not work here. Europeans are unhappy because their system is the same, but much larger shares of ownership are being taken by business people or corporate entities. Change is always met with resistance. But their system just does not work, and will always be subject to change until a system that works is found.
Don't try to lecture me about money and all of these ideals. I'm not an idiot. I'm not a money hungry business man, trying to squeeze every last cent out of everything I do because that's the only source of happiness for me. But you need to be practical for a second here. The world does revolve around money because that's the focus of the powers that be in our society. That's whats needed to survive and live by your own means in today's world. Whether or not its the most moral way for the world to operate is another story. But there is no one here who can live without it. Its the way the world is. We all have to make a living. Don't attack those that are making their living because of the commercialization of sports.
You do raise some good points, however I do disagree, I'm afraid I will have to postpone my next spiel for tomorrow. I have an 8 oclock class and recieved an email from my professor today that says miss another day and you fail, so I'll need to get to sleep. I would just like to clear up that this isn't a personal matter, and I apologize that that's where it's gone a couple of times, from all of us speaking on this matter. No matter what is said, however, none of us are going to change our mind on the subject, and we could go in circles for days. But I will address your points tomorrow!
Last edited by thecoffeecake: 03-30-2012 at 12:34 AM.