Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hello From the SuperDraft!

Hi fans, a quick update from everything that's been going down in Philadelphia.

The Rapids technical staff and several members of the club's front office are here in the City of Brotherly Love for the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

For those who don't know, the league also has leaguewide departmental meetings for all clubs to attend in concurrence with the Draft (which also coincides itself with the annual NSCAA coaches convention).

The Rapids' front office staff arrived on Tuesday night, and checked into the Loews Philly hotel, home base for all the clubs.

MLS did a nice job branding the streets and signage all around the hotel with banners with SuperDraft logos...similar to what we did in Denver for the 2007 All Star Game.

Wednesday morning it was an early rise for all-day meetings.

The PR Directors of all the clubs met in one ballroom, and strategized on maximizing visibility during this World Cup year, PR for a new digital decade, blogging and new media, among other topics.

Meanwhile, all the clubs' Marketing directors had several meetings and presenters from Rocket Fuel (who the league has contracted to lead the imminent launch of the new leaguewide digital platform)....this high-powered new "digital ecosystem" will debut before the '10 season starts and give fans access to much more dynamic and interactive sites for each will also mark the first time all MLS clubs are on the same league-wide website platform. Trust us when we say the new websites are going to be the most innovative, interactive, and truly the best in all of sports.

The Community Relations directors also had all-day meetings on Wednesday, focusing on new charitable outreach programs and intiatives for each club. Will we see some sort of league wide outreach from MLS on the Haiti disaster? We will see...

The Ticket Sales directors also all started arriving that day, as the league are holding sales meetings Thursday and Friday.

During the day Wednesday, coaches and technical staffs from all around the league started trickling in from the Combine in Florida.

Meals were quickly turned to working strategy sessions, and huddled together discussing strategy all night was the brain trust of Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush, Technical Director Paul Bravo, Head Coach Gary Smith, Assistant Coaches Steve Guppy and David Kramer, VP of Finance Charlie Wright, and Brian Crookham and Brett Jacobs from the Rapids Academy.

Guppy and Kramer took time out to record some videos of the club's thoughts the night before the draft; watch them here.

Everyone from Ben Olsen (wearing brown high tops) to Bruce Arena to Rapids alum Chris Henderson were spotted in the hotel lobby bar, which quickly became the place to try and catch up on the latest news and transactions. Trade rumors were rampant, and with player agents, MLS execs, coaches and staffs all combining in the bar area, quickly there was a sea of humanity quivering with last minute offers, speculation, deals and side deals.

By 1am the bar area had mostly cleared as everyone wanted to be well rested for the SuperDraft.

Today everyone's heading over to the huge convention hall across the street...the setting is magnificent in a huge marble hall. Philly Union staffers are already on site marketing their inaugural season to attendees.

That's it for now....nobody here's even had the chance to grab a cheesesteak yet. Things are happening fast and furious now, but we'll try to post another update soon.

In the meantime, the best place to get all the immediate news on transactions and updates is the Rapids Twitter page.

Talk to everyone later, don't forget to tune into the draft today at noon MST on ESPN2.

No comments: