Bulls & Bears: Whitecaps climb new heights

 

Tom Mayenknecht hosts The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday.

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

BULLS OF THE WEEK

The Vancouver Whitecaps checked an important box this week by winning their first Voyageurs Cup, the trophy emblematic of top honours in the Amway Canadian Championship.

It was an important milestone for the MLS franchise, allowing the team an extended on-field celebration Wednesday at BC Place Stadium following a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact that sealed the two-game series 4-2 on aggregate. Winning the Canadian championship for the first time in the competition’s 13-year history takes a gorilla off the backs of the Vancouver franchise; one they’ve carried the past five seasons in MLS and the previous eight in USSF.

It will put them into CONCACAF Champions League competition again next season for the second straight year after earning a berth this season on the best record among the Canadian MLS clubs in 2014. In terms of their brand and business development, the Voyageurs Cup title earns the club some valuable street credentials and gives the Caps something to shout about in their marketing for next season.

Moreover, it lights the fuse to what should be an interesting 75-day stretch run to the 2015 MLS campaign. The Whitecaps go into the final 2½ months of their long season as a legitimate contender for the big prize; the MLS Cup. It’s not outside the realm of possibility they finish with the best record in the entire league and earn what would be their first home playoff date in their five seasons in MLS. These next 10 weeks are the most important 10 weeks of soccer in Vancouver since the heady days of the NASL Whitecaps in the late 1970s.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

It’s been a season of failed expectations for the Seattle Mariners. This was the year they’d win the AL West and contend for a berth in the World Series. Many baseball prognosticators even projected Seattle to win the World Series this fall. They won’t get a sniff of the post-season and that’s a major disappointment for a franchise well more than a decade detached from its best seasons on the field — and in attendance — in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The missed opportunity is being reflected in the tepid engagement the Mariners are getting from their fans on social media, despite their position in one of the highest tech markets in North America. The Mariners rank only 17th among the 30 clubs in MLB when it comes to social media activity. A July and August study commissioned by Forbes and conducted by social intelligence research firm Klear estimates the Mariners have had in the order of 178,000 mentions and 1.2 billion impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The same study shows the Mariners’ 1977 expansion cousins — the Blue Jays — are riding a national wave on the strength of the fifth most active fan base on social media since the All-Star break, with more than 1.5 billion impressions and 366.5 thousand mentions on the three leading social platforms.

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket



 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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