Major League Soccer’s “Media and Marketing Tour” is one of the features of the MLS preseason and is an opportunity for the league to introduce and expose key players and coaches to the media prior to the preseason. For hours, dozens of players in full gear march through the convention center and are weary interviewed, videotaped and photographed. It feels like an assembly line.
This year’s event in San Jose, California was a little different.With much of the focus of Monday’s event on MLS, the number of suits sometimes outweighed the number of kits Groundbreaking Media Rights Partnership With Apple, a tech giant based in nearby Cupertino.
for several months, surrounded by questions Consent form. Some observers have expressed concerns about whether the league, which takes full responsibility for producing all content, is prepared to shoulder that burden. Little was known about the broadcast talent they planned to use.
MLS did its best to deter those concerns on Monday, releasing first list of talents They signed a deal to help broadcast their next match, and then marched dozens or so of them on stage. MLS Commissioner Don Garber was also in attendance, along with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services.
Among the personalities revealed Monday, Taylor Twellman was clearly Monday’s biggest giveaway. acquisition seems like a minor coup for the league. For Twellman, a partnership with Apple represents a potentially big shift in terms of broadcast quality and perception.
“[This deal]means the league doesn’t have to fight for certain things that it has to fight for. MLS must always apologize for who they are and what they do. They had to always try to get airtime, and Apple literally stepped in the door and said, ‘How can we make the consumer experience better?
Twellman pointed to the standardization of MLS schedules as a direct impact. The league has long had trouble understanding that aspect. They appear to have sorted things out for the time being after moving matches to a much narrower window on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday as part of an agreement with Apple.
The quality of MLS broadcasts has also changed significantly over the years. Some of the league’s local broadcasts, previously broadcast mostly by regional sports networks, felt bare bones, with Twellman and others suggesting that won’t be the case in the near future. .
“There was an open notebook,” said Twellman. (Apple) is listening. Obviously time is of the essence. I don’t think what you see on day one will be what you see six months, a year, two years down the line. But to have been doing this for over 13 years is amazing — the right questions are being asked. That’s why my enthusiasm for this league and what this sport can do is through the roof right now…not for 27 years (production quality). wasn’t there This is where Apple got my attention, because MLS fans deserve to be treated with respect. The way this league has grown over the last five years, the broadcasts, etc. must be there as well. ”
Twellman’s decision to leave ESPN was a little complicated, he said after the event. Going forward, that probably would not have been the case, as ESPN no longer owns the rights to the US national team or US-based clubs. would have meant to focus on
“After all, I couldn’t imagine not being in an MLS Cup stadium,” Twellman said. Even though I was drawn to the meaning, I couldn’t see myself quit the sport. ”
Throughout the presentation, Garber and Cue raved about each other’s products and talked about what to expect at one of these events. There was no talk of production issues. Frankly, industry sources have been expressing concern for months about how MLS will bring their product to life in such a compressed timeline, and how its final product will stack up with its predecessors. Garber pushed back on these allegations.
‘We hit our target,’ Garber said athletic after the presentation. “We feel really good about all aspects of the production. This is an unprecedented effort and we couldn’t be more excited about where we are. It warms my heart to see how excited they are and what they bring to our league and Apple’s future.
The talent pool on display Monday was both gender- and race-diverse and surprisingly young, with a majority of recently retired players on stage. , a shift that has turned many of the league’s traditional voices outward, such as JP Dellacamera, Joe Tutino and Shep Messing.
“Our league is the league for the new America,” Garber said. “Young, diverse, global, and representing every aspect of our community. I’m buying the product and you can imagine, like Eddie, I’ve been somewhat involved in rallying the talent pool and this is 80 little representations out there and the future. We’re proud of what it stands for: this isn’t yesterday’s news, it’s tomorrow’s news, in terms of what sports broadcasting is going to be like.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has partnered with a major sports league. They aired his first Major League Baseball game in 2022 and were particularly involved in recent negotiations for the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” franchise, but ultimately lost to Google. Prior to its development, many believed that technology company MLS Broadcasting would act as a kind of testbed for trying out new technologies and broadcasting approaches with a view to acquiring larger sports assets in the future. Now that that possibility is gone, it looks like Apple is relying on Major League Soccer to continue its growth and push further into the mainstream.
“I think MLS is going to be a big league,” said Cue. “We loved working with everyone. The league itself, the teams, the players, and the talented players you see today, have a lot of love that we have at Apple. The key word is passion.They love what they do.Together we’re going to make this league a great league and we’re excited.”