Galaxy Coach Bruce Area and Anshutz Entertainment Group Chief Executive Officer Tim Leiweke annoint Herbalife Chief Executive Officer Michael Johnson as the Galaxy’s new No. 10 at a press conference near Torrance today (Photo by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).
The six-year Galaxy-Herbalife sponsorship deal will now extend through 2022, bringing in an MLS-record $44 million to the MLS club.
No wonder Tim Leiweke said today he expects the Galaxy to break even this year after wallowing in the red in 2011 as they invested in the DP likes of Robbie Keane atop the not inconsiderable salaries of Landon Donovan and David Beckham.
“Our goal is to be a break-even organization and that’s probably where we’re headed,” Leiweke said. “We’re not an organization that’s about trying to make as much money and trying to distribute as much money as we can. We tend to put our money right back into the club.
“We continue to put huge resources into Chris Klein and his (youth) academy, we continue to put a fair amount of resources into our training facility and we continue to spend more money in the league than anybody on designated players. What all that does is it allows us to continue that spending spree we’ve been on here.
“The Galaxy has to lead the pack and right now we have great respect for Seattle — they do a much better job on ticket sales than we do — and they have more capacity. They do a better job of season ticket sales — so do another half dozen clubs in the league. So we’ve fallen by the wayside on season tickets so what (new Galaxy head honcho) Chris McGowan and his team will do is make that a higher priority. We need to have a season ticket base for this team of 10,000 people and we need to be in a position where we don’t need to sell single tickets every game.
“We’re at the top of every revenue stream in Major League Soccer with the exception of a couple and one of them is season tickets. We need to be at the top because we do spend more than any other club in the league, so it’s a high priority. We weren’t dealing with it the right way and we brought in some fresh blood and experienced veterans who understand this marketplace.”
Whew! And I think I only asked one question (well, OK, maybe two).
For more on today’s news conference, check out my news — not sports story, folks — here.