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Youth Soccer Pt.1 Markets

The American youth soccer market as a system of governing entities, clubs, facilities, training companies and equipment manufacturers has slowly improved the quality of soccer in our country through largely capitalists pursuits.

Capitalism requires markets.

In the classical definition of a market, the actors are buyers and sellers. The third element in the classical definition of a market is information.

A disequilibrium of information between the buyer and seller is required for a market to exist.

Buyers have a glass half full approach. The seller sees their glass as half empty.

Soccer clubs are sellers, parents are the buyers, the child is the user.

Clubs have information and an environment. Parents lack the information and environment to help their children (the user) develop soccer skills.

For the over all health of the youth soccer market, it is important that buyers are capable of evaluating the information sellers present.

Parents tend to select soccer clubs based on five criteria. (Results based on raw data collected. Age and subjective data not included in this list)

1. Proximity

2. Peer participation

3. Coach

4. Competitive success of the club

5. Clubs value proposition ie: Player Development, College recruitment

Three out of five (of the criteria parents use to select a club) place zero accountability on the club to maintain operational standards. Parents can write a check and not think any further about the benefits of their purchase.

Making educated decisions and rewarding companies that offer good services is imperative for overall growth of the game.

Customers must be able to recognize quality to be able to select it.

Up next: Leverage


"The Business of youth soccer" series are vignettes illustrating aspects of the business of youth soccer. These posts will be expanded into an e-book for readers interested in more in-depth subject matter such as: Club/parent financial analysis, parent/player psychology, coaching licenses, club structure, parent education, monopolies and oligopolies, youth soccer history and a variety of other topics.