Kelly Scott Madison

Soccer is taking on the US



A global powerhouse with engaged audiences makes its case to U.S. advertisers. Are they listening this time? 

If there’s one thing that can unite people around the world, it’s the passion, competitiveness and love of a sport. For years, various leagues have made it their mission to globalize certain sports in order to increase monetization, audiences and popularity.

The NFL for one is moving into its 11th year of the international series. Four matchups are on the schedule in 2016, up from three last year. And the league has inked a new deal to continue the international series through the 2020 season. The National Collegiate Athletic Association recently announced that its August 27 face off between the University of California, Berkeley and University of Hawaii will take place in Sydney, Australia. And most timely of all, the U.S. hosted the Copa America Centenario, which is not only celebrating the 100th anniversary of the tournament, but also marks the first time it was held outside of South America.

But for reasons varying from massive audience numbers worldwide to the rising importance of Hispanic marketing in the U.S., soccer is emerging as one of the most enticing opportunities for sports advertising today. The coveted Copa America Centenario saw nearly 1.5 million attendees across its 32-game tournament that took place in 10 different U.S. cities. These numbers broke the previous aggregate attendance record by more than 350,000. In addition, the tournament set new records for revenue, TV ratings, digital and social media engagement. In the U.S. alone, there were more than 100 million TV viewers. The success of this tournament also means...

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