A report came out from Forbes today regarding Major League Soccer's financial standing in 2015. The overall sentiment is that the league is doing really well and is continuing to grow both domestically and internationally. New television deals are improving the revenue and the league's profile around the world.
One little nugget of information in the article caught our eye. They reveal that MLS will likely be taking on a new restaurant partner in 2016.
Stevenson hinted that the Heineken Rivalry Week - built-in rivalries between clubs â should expand in 2016 to include a restaurant partner to help promote it and bring in additional revenue for the league.
Chipotle is currently the main restaurant sponsor of the league, even putting their name on the annual "Homegrown Game" that began in 2014. You may have heard that Chipotle is going through a bit of a crisis right now. So, it might be wise for MLS to explore different partnerships in this area of concentration. Here are five restaurants that the league should consider for this endeavor:
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
There's nothing more American than a good hamburger and some fatty french fries. While In-N-Out Burger gets most of the national praise because of it's exclusivity towards the west, many will tell you that Five Guys is the the better burger. I've yet to see them partnered with a sports league, so you wouldn't have to worry about competition. Much like MLS, they're a slightly under-the-radar type of establishment that has the ability to become a powerhouse.
Everyone loves chicken. While Zaxby's may not be as good as Chick-Fil-A, it's still damn good chicken and it doesn't offer the same type of political and religious headaches as it's more popular competitor. Perhaps Zaxby's isn't a nationwide conglomerate, but that's okay. For what they lack in notoriety, they make up for in flavor.
Chinese food has basically become America's favorite food. They should really just call it American food by now. When you want some amazing Chinese cuisine, there's no better chain restaurant to go to than PF Chang's. They have top quality food and a great atmosphere. This sounds like a perfect recipe for an MLS partnership to me. (P.S. Make sure you order the Pepper Steak)
We all know that DQ has great frozen treats and desserts. But did you know that their food is amazing too? They're basically MLS. You came for the great stars like David Villa and Kaka, but you stayed for the Mauro Diaz and Darlington Nagbe. Their burgers are really quite good and I highly recommend the grilled chicken sandwich.
When you think about it, Waffle House is the absolute perfect sponsor for MLS. 'The House' has a dedicated and adoring fan base that will live and die for it. While many detractors call it overrated, it perseveres through the idiocy and stands the test of time. It's a modern classic and will live on forever as one of America's great dining experiences. Do the right thing, MLS. Pick Waffle House as your next sponsor.