A U.S. World Cup To Remember

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You may know by now that the U.S.A. went out of the World Cup Tuesday in a thriller, losing to Belgium 1-2 in extra time.

Had a late corner kick while the game was 0-0 landed in front of world-class striker Clint Dempsey (instead of someone else who proceeded to make a meal of the best goal scoring chance the U.S. had had all game), it would almost surely have ended up in the back of the net – and the U.S. would have been improbable 1-0 winners. For through 90 minutes goalkeeper Tim Howard had kept the U.S. in the game. If he had not made the saves he had been forced to make by a lackluster (and at times simply outplayed) defense, the U.S. might have lost by a lot more than one goal.

Throughout the tournament, playing every game hard until the last whistle, the U.S. team had kept American fans in their seats. The country clearly appreciated the effort and entertainment. The U.S. Embassy in London even tweeted this today:

U.S. Embassy London says "Thanks."
U.S. Embassy London says “Thanks.”

The growing U.S. interest in soccer is not being lost on marketers and companies. They see it; that’s their job. For instance, if you had looked yesterday to a book a flight on Emirates, this was the U.S. homepage that greeted you:

Emirates.com in the U.S. on Tuesday.
Emirates.com in the U.S. on Tuesday.

That’s not something you see every day. One suspects quite a few other advertisers might also like to see the next U.S. men’s World Cup broadcast on free-to-air U.S. network TV, rather than niche sports ESPN. Uh, and by “network TV” I mean not just in Spanish. πŸ˜‰

2 comments

    1. I have felt for some years now that soccer fans had been light years ahead of U.S. sports media – which was resistant to covering anything its journos did not grow up idolizing. It was not that long ago that “old guard” ESPN sports reporters ridiculed soccer mercilessly.

      That era is, thankfully, dead. This World Cup has shown U.S. media is finally catching up with Americans’ interest. True, soccer is not baseball, or the NFL; it will take years of a successful domestic league to make the “memories” needed to get it to that level. But the sport itself is here to stay.

      Any “history” domestically appears in the hands of the MLS. It needs badly now to raise its own game. It could really use a Pete Rozelle.

      Like

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