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The Internet Marketer

Janet Peischel's The Internet Marketer: A window into the quantifiable growth of U.S. soccer

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Janet Peischel

Janet Peischel

For those of us who see advertising as more than just an annoyance but as a socioeconomic barometer, something interesting happened with June’s Euro 2020 soccer championship.

The final match, between Italy and England, pulled in more U.S. viewers than did the first three games of the NBA finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns. 

You may have to be a bit of a sports fan to fully appreciate this. The NBA playoffs are a grueling competition. Winning the NBA championship takes skill, endurance and luck. There’s a big payoff for the players and owners. But it also affects every vendor and fan throughout the country.

France and the 2019 World Cup: A window into a European soccer tournament

You have to understand what soccer means to the rest of the world. I was in Aix-en Provence during the 2019 World Cup. Over the course of a month, I joined my new neighbors in the city’s squares. I learned to get there early, snag a seat and settle in with a beer. There were big-screen TVs and chefs manning monster paella pans or making bouillabaisse. There was charcuterie and cheese. Massive amounts of beer and wine. Everyone was cheering, screaming, and hugging.

It was impossible not to get caught up in the frenzy. I love to travel, and over the years I’ve watched kids with soccer balls. They’ll play wherever there’s a flat stretch — dodging cars on city streets, in parks, and on playgrounds. They’re playing on beaches and in parking lots. Every kid’s channeling Cristiano Ronaldo.

Advertisers across a whole range of products are stepping up to new opportunities

Euro 2020 drew an average of 9.4 million viewers. It was also the largest audience for any U.S. soccer telecast since the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. According to Fox Sports, the Women’s World Cup France 2019 final peaked at nearly 20 million, across FOX and streaming services. Contrast that with ABC’s average of 8.9 million people tuning in for the first three games of the NBA Finals.

The success of our U.S. women’s teams has had a big influence on the growth of the game

A big part of soccer’s growth can be traced to the increase in the number of kids playing soccer. Both boys and girls have now been playing soccer for a generation or more. Little girls in soccer leagues now have role models who are magnificent athletes. Football, with its violence and life-threatening injuries, has left many parents choosing the more wholesome sport of soccer for their sons.

So what industries are benefitting from the growth of soccer? Travel/tourism — to include all the vendors that fuel game day — airlines, airports, hotels, restaurants, UBER/Lyft drivers. Banking and automobile, the betting/lottery industries. Clothing: Caps and jerseys sporting the names of your favorite player come with hefty price tags. Loving the game — with a big upside!

Are you considering adding digital advertising to your marketing plan? Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and digital marketing specialists.

Napa County Public Health Officer Karen Relucio updates residents on the latest developments regarding COVID-19. Video courtesy of Napa County.

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