In case you haven't heard, and from what I've seen on Twitter and Facebook, you haven't, KTCK - the local sports radio 880 pound gorilla known as The Ticket - is broadcasting a "World Cup Kickaround" show that starts at the end of The Hardline and goes for an hour, so basically 7 to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, and then from 11 to 1 on Sundays.
It is hosted by Peter Welpton of Lex And Terry fame (among others) and featuring Andy Swift (former general manager of the Dallas Burn, among other things), and other Ticket personalities such as Bob Sturm of BADD Radio fame.
So first and foremost, if you are into the World Cup, it is worth a listen. It is available on 1310 AM, 96.7 FM, as well as the SportsDayTALK app (iOS and Android).
But it also presents an opportunity to grow the footprint of soccer in Dallas area media. Think about it - we are often clamoring for more coverage of our sport and here is a new totally new avenue to consume. So if you want to make it easier for yourself to hear about and read about soccer, consider doing the following:
When on Twitter, talk about soccer, reference the show and use the following handles: @DFWTicket and @SportsSturm.
When on Facebook, post on The Ticket's Facebook page about soccer.
Tell people you know about it, especially soccer fans. If nothing else, let's make sure that there are a lot of people listening to the show.
Then, if after listening to the show, you like it, consider sending them positive feedback, again via Twitter and Facebook. I say positive feedback because, frankly, they are tuning out pretty much all of the negative feedback they get. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, feel free to email me at Kevin@LindstromEnterprises.net and we can talk in more detail.
Again, first, this is a great way to enjoy the World Cup more. But second, hopefully you can see the chance this presents to do more than just enjoy the growth of our favorite sport - it is a chance to accelerate that growth.
For many of you, you probably have all the past frustrating efforts in mind right now, and I don't blame you. Certainly, we have all had a moment of "this sport is bigger than this!". And if you have gotten bothered enough to try to say something, the response has probably been abrupt at best. So why would now be different?
Simply put, the acceleration of the sport has continued in ways beyond Dallas, and it is starting to penetrate. The fact that this radio show exists is proof of that. But the longer we have things like MLS with crowds like those in Seattle and Kansas City, the demand for the US national teams, etc., the deeper the demand grows. Bear in mind, ratings for soccer on television for events like the World Cup and UEFA Champions League - and even MLS - continue to grow at rates that are very noticeable. NBC's work with MLS over the past two years has been phenomenal. Yesterday's overnight for the World Cup opener was 3.1. For a mid-day sporting event, that is more than solid. No wonder networks are spending billions on soccer television rights in the US these days.
Did you hear about the most recent television deal between MLS and their marketing partner, SUM? The new deal is for eight years and worth $90 million a year. Here is Forbes' article. That, my friends, is real money. There is a ways to go, but that is some significant progress.
So for those reasons, efforts now to ask for more soccer media coverage will be seen in a different light. And the World Cup Kickaround, live on The Ticket weekdays from 7 to 8 pm and on Sunday from 11 to 1, is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the sport we love in a new medium, and potentially, help give it some wings....