New York Cosmos: Twice in a Lifetime; A New Business Look at a Legendary Sports Franchise

Authors: Sarbjit Singh*

Sarbjit Singh is Assistant Professor, Sport Management, at Farmingdale State College in New York

*Corresponding Author:
Sarbjit Singh, MBA/JD
Farmingdale State College
2350 Broadhollow Road
Farmingdale, NY 11735
singhs@farmingdale.edu
631-794-6212

ABSTRACT
The New York Cosmos were the dominant professional soccer franchise, on and off the field, during the 1970s and ‘80s. However, the team folded just a few years after its peak, succumbing to excessive spending and lagging revenues. Twenty-five years later, the Cosmos returned seeking a place on the local, national and global sports scenes. Via a case study, we take a look at the team’s history, its relaunch, and factors such as facility development and league affiliation impacting the team’s business plans. Like the franchise itself, the reader is tasked with determining whether the team’s new strategy and efforts can make it a profitable enterprise. The reader is also encouraged to think of practical ideas that will connect the team with both its first-generation of fans who regaled in their winning history and attract new fans who may not know their history and may be impatient when it comes to the team’s performance on the field.

The “Twice in a Lifetime” case study is grounded with a review of historical and recent literature on the life of the Cosmos brand, providing a foundation for readers to understand the birth of the Cosmos franchise, its subsequent evolution, and those impacting the direction in which the team would go, e.g. Stephen Ross, Warner Communications, the NASL, and Pele. The proposed discussion builds on this understanding and the specifics of the Cosmos relaunch and asks us to act like real-life managers who may have some important information, but not all, and still must make important decisions determining the fate of the franchise.

KEYWORDS: Strategy, Sports Business, Entrepreneurship, Brand Management, International, Case Study Continue reading