San Diego Sockers reaping rewards of Donovan investment
Signing Landon Donovan was a major gamble, as he commands the biggest salary in the league. But they have won 20 games and scored 92 goals.
San Diego Sockers made one of the most significant investments in the MASL by hiring Landon Donovan, as the United States legend's signing involved a salary that they didn't know if they could recover. But as the regular season ends, it is a gamble that has more than paid off.
Donovan earns around 250,000 dollars, an amount that for many in the league is crazy, but for San Diego Sockers Marketing Director Craig Elsten was a safe bet.
With one game remaining until the end of the regular season, the Sockers are leaders with a record of 22-1 and 92 goals, besides having 20 consecutive victories.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Elsten said the most important effect of the move was its impact on attendances: since Donovan's arrival, average gates have increased by approximately 1,500 spectators, with a usual turn-out of 2,640 fans per match.
Other data mentioned by Elsten was the considerable increase in traffic to the team's website, with Sockers searches increasing by 3.3 million. Media revenue has increased by 375,000 dollars since Donovan's debut in the MASL, he added.
The Sockers' last regular-season game will be against Monterrey Flash at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, at 10:05 EST. In the playoffs, they will face Tacoma or Ontario in game 1 of the division finals on 19 April.
After an eight-team, best-of-three 'divisional' round, the four tie winners move on to one-off 'conference' matches that determine the two finalists who will fight it out for the 2018/19 championship in a single-game trophy decider.