Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Beckham Effect Continues



Another example of the MLS Beckham Effect in big markets: Washington D.C.

Tune in tomorrow (Thursday) night for the DC United/LA Galaxy game on ESPN2. It should be a feisty match. The Galaxy are struggling to make the playoffs. DC United has been strong all season & is well-positioned for the playoffs. LA really needs 3 points. They left Toronto with 1 point...and thankful for that considering how much Toronto dominated in the first half of that contest. Beckham's doubtful again. But his personage will once again be on the bench. And who knows, maybe since they're playing on a natural pitch this time, he'll get some playing time.

The Washington Post match preview has all the trappings of what the MLS dreams of: big game day traffic tips for fans coming in buses, trains & automobiles, parking tips and, not to mention, a sold out RFK Stadium. This is the Pele effect wrought in the new media age. If ESPN.com gets a significant jump in click-throughs on their MLS Soccer coverage, then that's solid evidence for their programming chiefs. Yes, they've already committed to the Beckham matches. But web traffic definitely is a new factor that must be taken seriously.