Soccer, it looks like, is here to stay.
The United States has never been a soccer country. Sports like baseball, football, and basketball have defined the sports culture in the U.S. for generations.
The past couple of years, however, something has changed. Major League Soccer has been expanding at a rapid rate, European clubs are creating captivating summer tours and activations, and a series of successful men and women’s World Cups has laid the foundation for a new generation of fandom. Soccer, it looks like, is here to stay.
In response to this, companies, such as Target, are quickly adjusting their marketing strategies to try to capture a piece of the soccer space. Other players in the sports industry, however, have already thought ahead.
Danny Fritz, the CEO and Founder of SportBox, created the agency four years ago after he noticed a shift in the industry while working as a vice president and managing director for IMG.
“A lot of the larger agencies were acquiring some of the smaller, midsize shops. The industry became very massive,” said Fritz.
When that happens, he said, “there’s pressure for return on investment and the business can only get so big, which means that a lot of the larger firms essentially cut back on resources and there’s a lot of expectations on the personnel to start managing several athletes and be responsible for the day to day marketing, PR, business development, social platforms.”
With all of those offerings, agencies become large conglomerates and Fritz noticed they were becoming “the Walmart of the entertainment business…you [could] get things cheap but trying to get on board the aisle was very challenging.”
Fritz wanted to disrupt that.
With a mission in mind, he set out to create a new agency, one that he envisioned filling the gap he saw in the sports space.
Four years later, SportBox has grown to a mid-size agency hosting talent management, event and consulting capabilities. While primarily in the golf space, due to Fritz’ background, it also represents Olympic talent, on air-personalities, and several event contracts. Already well established, Fritz knew it was time for the agency to expand.
Upon exploring opportunities for expansion, it soon became apparent that establishing a foothold in soccer was the best way forward.
That’s where Terreros comes in.
Terreros was born in Colombia. A life-long soccer player, he moved to the U.S. when he was seventeen and continued to play through high school and college before transitioning into the business side of sports.
He worked for the Major League Soccer teams Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew, eventually undergoing training to become a FIFA-registered Intermediary (agent). At that point, he broke off and started his own agency, the Ōs Group.
Similar to SportBox, he wanted to disrupt an industry.
“Soccer is a very new and growing space. And I wanted to disrupt the way the bigger box agencies were managing most of the athletes and most of the marketing deals. I wanted to make space for everyone,” explained Terreros.
His vision aligned with Fritz’ and from there, a partnership seemed only natural.
Fritz and SportBox were ready to embrace soccer and Terreros and Ōs Group already had a plan in mind.
Terreros noticed that ever since the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., the sport has been on the rise. On top of that, MLS has sustained a steady growth over the past several years and the likelihood of 2026 bid, is sure to increase popularity even more. The growth is evident in the recent, record-breaking attendance and high broadcast viewership numbers coming out of the Gold Cup and International Champions Cup.
“The next six to nine months are important for tangible growth,” said Terreros. With the World Cup coming up next summer in Russia, it’s inevitable that the sport’s popularity will grow even more. In the next ten years, Terreros believes soccer will be one of the leading sports and is working on a plan for the agency to make an impact in the marketplace.
Steps in the plan include acquiring renowned talent with national team experience and working with “top tier brands that are trying to spend dollars in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and help those brands reach their targets through the sport of soccer.”
While Terreros is primarily based out of San Francisco, SportBox has additional offices in Miami, New York, and Toronto giving the agency a “border to border and coast to coast footprint,” which is essential in its quest to connect with the markets in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Terreros’ base in San Francisco is strategic because it allows him to travel across California and the West Coast easily. The populations in California were early adopters to the sport of soccer as the LA Galaxy led the way in MLS and Seattle and Portland quickly developed two of most important MLS fan bases.
Additionally, according to Terreros, the soccer community attracts a diverse range of fan segments including millennials, families, and Hispanics. “With San Francisco being led by millennials, the soccer community is very strong,” he said.
Now, Terreros is off to Canada to connect with partners and will soon travel across the pond to England for work. Fresh into his new role at SportBox, he’s ready to get the global soccer division up and running fast. As someone with a strong set of experience who is full of passion, energy, and ideas, Terreros is well-equipped to launch SportBox into the soccer industry.
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