Case | HBS Case Collection | December 1998 (Revised August 2004)

Major League Soccer--1996-1998: Now, Later...Never?

by Stephen A. Greyser and Kirk A. Goldman


Major League Soccer (MLS) has entered the U.S. "big league" sports arena. This case reviews its first several years. Students must determine the basic business model of MLS in the context of changes in the fan acceptance of soccer in the United States. A comparison should be made with the experience of the North American Soccer League. Students must assess the progress made by MLS in each of its early seasons. Several new (1998) issues for MLS are included for further student discussion. The ultimate question is whether MLS can be successful long-term.

Keywords: Business Model; Success; Performance Evaluation; Sports; Sports Industry; United States;


Greyser, Stephen A., and Kirk A. Goldman. "Major League Soccer--1996-1998: Now, Later...Never?" Harvard Business School Case 599-023, December 1998. (Revised August 2004.)