As soccer had become one of the most popular sports in the world, there was a potential possibility to bring a professional soccer in Canada. The first game of the Toronto FC (Football Club) was successful on April 28, 2007 after Toronto Blizzards was dismantled in 1984. Thousands of fans wearing FC gear with diverse backgrounds enjoyed to cheer on their team when the team played match against the Kansas City wizards. Marketing strategy was the key to bring its success to the reality.
It was critical to build a new stadium for Toronto FC, so there was a negotiations between Municipal, provincial, and federal governments as well as private enterprises and the Major League Soccer (MLS) organization with great effort. The approval was made in October 2006 with $62. 8 million to build the open-air BMO Field. Maple leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) was the leading company to conduct an immense marketing plan with great expertise. MLSE has concentrated on their marketing strategy for long-term business success which were building a strong brand, giving a great value to customers.
To build a strong brand, first, they analyzed the soccer fan base which consisted with not only Torontonians, but also Canadians. With their analysis, diverse and fragmented fan base and international, they focused on positioning to their diehard customers with the slogan “All for One” Furthermore, MLSE gave authentic experience to approach their loyal fan, giving a chance to vote to make the final team name, providing pub crawls to engage, broadcasting the Toronto FC publicly on CBC. Ticket pricing and providing value were effective strategies for the fans. Ticket prices were set lower to over-deliver value for the fans.
MLSE planned to differentiate their pricing as season tickets, single tickets, youth tickets, and single game group so 14,000 season’s ticket packages quickly sold out. Plus, the match with world famous team such as Aston Villa and Real Madrid attract great interest with fans to deliver value for the Toronto FC. As a result, since starting with 18 corporate partners in the 2007 season, Toronto FC now have 40 partners, also the revenue growth of 25percent from 2007 to 2008 and 10 percent from 2008 to 2009. The successful marketing strategy gave brilliant future for the Toronto FC and its fans.