Julie Logan shares her thoughts on the folding of Saint Louis and what it means for the future of WPS.
A few weeks ago I was in Costco and a guy stopped me to ask about the WPS bag I had on (yes, I sport a WPS bag occasionally when I wanna just sling it and go). He knew about the league (I was shocked) and asked what I felt about it having folded.
Um. Yah, no. I spent a few minutes setting this sports journalist, who was currently giving out free food at Costco, an update:
League is good, L.A. team is caput.
Now I gotta go back and tell this poor flirty kid that oopsie, two teams burnt out in the first two years. At least I can add that it’s actually due to shoddy owners making annoyingly stereotypical decisions.
Two teams down in 5 months. Well, shit. Not a good sign. Right?
Eh not so great, but not so bad. WPS is not like a couple of mountaineers, each team is held at arm’s length so if one goes down it doesn’t pull the rest with ‘em. Two going down is not great, but …
They survived Year 1 in the midst of a terrible recession, maybe the worst in American history.
They expanded in Year 2; plus two teams, minus two teams, evens out.
They – theoretically – are going to expand into Year 3. At least they have rumors floating. Given this second folding, they probably are feeling a lot of pressure to get some positive PR going and get new franchises up. Or revive lost ones with new owner (hint hint: LOS ANGELES).
I get the feeling that everything the WPS head office could be doing to get the league thriving, they are doing. So I have hope. Change takes a while and that’s exactly what the WPS is doing: changing women’s professional sports.
Sounds ridiculous. But the league is attempting to prove that women’s pro athletics can be a viable business.
The true measure of a successful business is not how it acts at the height of a bubble, but how it survives the sharp dive and slow climb after the bubble pops.
Small and Mighty. Say it with me. Small and mighty.
Julie Logan is a faithful supporter of women’s soccer. During her last year as a Film student at USC she produced Are You On the Ball, a webseries that followed the Los Angeles Sol throughout its inaugural season. She is currently in London, getting paid for doing awesome things. You can check in on her at http://areyouontheball.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter @areyouontheball.