The Hunts were looking for minority local investors; the league designed their business goals; Hispanic outreach was meaningful

Lots going on in the article linked to below.

The Hunts were only looking for local minority investors, and Garber overstated their intentions publicly:

The Hunt family quickly refuted Garber, declaring that, though they had been seeking local minority investors since 2010 in keeping with the league’s emphasis on local ownership, the commissioner had “overstated” that objective. (Ron Pizutti is the team’s primary local minority investor). “The City of Columbus, the Crew and Crew stadium are extremely important to our family, and that hasn’t changed,” said Clark Hunt, chairman of the Hunt Sports Group, in a public statement. “Adding local investors, reaching our goal of 10,000 ticket holders, securing a naming rights partner for Crew Stadium and boosting support from the business community are all critical factors in the long-term success of the Crew in Columbus.” Hunt Sports Group declined to comment for this story.

The three main business goals (increase season tickets, jersey sponsor, and stadium naming rights) were worked out with the league:

While the time is right for the Hunt Sports Group to seek local investment partners, Crew general manager Mark McCullers, who’s been with the team for 15 years, doesn’t expect to be working under new owners anytime soon. With a three-year timetable to meet the three-armed ticket sales, jersey and stadium sponsorship goals devised in cooperation with the league, McCullers signed a four-year contract extension in 2011.

Discussion of Hispanic outreach shows how important it was to the Hunts and the Crew in general (compare this to the entry from January 1, 2015, by which time all Spanish language outreach had stopped; see also La Turbina Amarilla being denied Nordecke tickets in 2015):

The Crew’s engagement of Central Ohio’s Hispanic and African communities, most of whom already watch international soccer, is unparalleled among local sports organizations, says Orozco. “That crowd, we don’t have to sell them soccer. They’re already huge soccer fans, so we have to sell them the Crew.”

The article contains a discussion of how revenue is shared between MLS and league investor-operators:

A portion of all MLS teams’ revenue reverts to the league; if the league is profitable, a dividend is returned to team owners. Neither McCullers nor Courtemanche would disclose the percentage of the revenue shared between the league and the team, but in 2012, Garber told the Dispatch that shared league revenue streams include national broadcast and merchandising revenue, as well as 30 percent of ticket sales. While a percentage of the Crew’s jersey sponsorship revenue will revert to MLS, revenue secured through the sale of stadium naming rights for the privately owned stadium would stay with the club.

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