Toronto FC looking to grab news space from waning Leafs and Raptors
March 23, 2012
With five games in two weeks, Toronto FC is looking to continue a wild start to the 2012 season just as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors continue their fade from the spotlight at the end of their respective NHL and NBA seasons.
The Major League Soccer franchise opens its 2012 home schedule tomorrow at BMO Field with a visit by the San Jose Earthquakes. Toronto FC has already generated considerable excitement on the strength of a two-match, total point win over David Beckham and the LA Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals and an MLS season opening loss at Seattle last weekend.
The win over the Galaxy makes Toronto FC the first Canadian soccer club to reach the final four in CONCACAF Champions League competition. Toronto faces Mexican club Santos Laguna in the two-match semifinal beginning Wednesday, March 28th, at BMO Field.
This two-week period also includes MLS regular season matches against Columbus and the expansion Montreal Impact.
“The Torsten Frings injury is an unfortunate bubble-burster for Toronto FC as they move on in the CONCACAF playdowns, but in my view they’ve already accomplished a great deal in terms of early-season media buzz and fan engagement,” said sport business commentator Tom Mayenknecht, who hosts The Sport Market heard on TSN Radio 1050 and TSN.ca/radio. “The additional media spotlight on the Champions League can only help Toronto FC set itself up for a strong season of brand development, especially with the current plight of both the Maple Leafs and the Raptors at the tail end of their disappointing seasons.”
Mayenknecht said the key for Toronto FC is to show progress on the field.
“There is no better marketing than winning,” said Mayenknecht. “A respectable season and their first playoff berth would go a long way to building the brand footprint of Toronto FC. The success in reaching the semifinals of CONCACAF Champions League is a real bonus to build upon.”
After hosting Santos Laguna this coming Wednesday in the opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, Toronto FC travels to Torreon in Mexico for the reverse leg Wednesday, April 4th. Both matches will be telecast on Sportsnet.
Tomorrow’s home opener at BMO Field will be telecast on TSN and RDS at 1 p.m. ET, as will MLS matches on March 31st (Columbus) and April 7th (Montreal).
“That Montreal-Toronto match on TSN and RDS could top the record average audience of 541,000 for the Vancouver-Montreal season opener two weeks ago,” said Mayenknecht. “Again, much of that depends on the lead-in to the match and whether Toronto and Montreal are giving their fan bases reason to engage.”
TheSportMarket.biz with files from the Canadian Press.