Atlanta's enthusiasm for MLS began during the official announcement event April 16, 2014. The team will begin play in 2017.
Photo: Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin

Atlanta’s MLS team benefiting from World Cup

Atlanta’s MLS expansion franchise saw a noticeable increase in season-ticket pledges on the day the U.S. team was defeated by Belgium in the Round of 16 in the World Cup.

The pre-World Cup daily average of 31 jumped to 143 on July 1, the day the U.S. men were eliminated 2-1 in Brazil. It was the largest number of pledges since the two-week flurry after it was announced in April that Arthur Blank was purchasing an expansion franchise.

The growth can be partially attributed to the team’s marketing department.

On game days for the U.S. or Mexico, Atlanta’s MLS franchise sent people to various sites around metro Atlanta to hand out team gifts and compile information in a database.

“It was a grassroots way to make MLS Atlanta top-of-mind during the World Cup,” Falcons executive vice president Jim Smith said.

Smith said the success that the U.S. and Mexico experienced in reaching the Round of 16 “certainly helped the Atlanta MLS franchise.”

The franchise, which will begin play in 2017, has received 12,700 pledges and 4,430 Founder’s Club members as of Tuesday.

Pledges have increased from the start of the World Cup on June 12 to reach an average of 51 per day. The average number of new memberships in the Founder’s Club also have increased during the World Cup by 64 percent.

The franchise continues to search for a president. The search team is narrowing the list of candidates and hopes to have a decision made within two months.

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