It’s widely known that soccer in the United States is a tough market. With Americans so pre-occupied with football, baseball, basketball, and even hockey, the market size for soccer looks rather meek. NBC soccer coverage may change the market outlook for soccer in America.
NBC soccer coverage begins
With NBC having spent around $250 million for the rights to air English Premier League soccer, they better have a plan to help Americans accept the sport. Not only should NBC help the nation accept the sport, but also learn the heritage of soccer as well. Below is a quick list of marketing tips to help aid NBC in this process as we head into the third weekend of the 2013-14 English Premier League campaign.
Popular American athletes should endorse soccer
Ads are always filled with superstars for obvious reasons, namely people tend to listen to what they have to say. Sports stars are no different. Who better to endorse soccer than the man that just ran an 80 yard touchdown? If the biggest names in sports are claiming how great soccer is, Americans are sure to follow suit.
For instance, people are more likely to buy Head and Shoulders products because Troy Polamalu endorses the brand. Likewise, if people listen to Lebron James explain what he loves about soccer, fans are more likely to tune in.
Help fans feel knowledgeable
Fans simply cannot argue against fouls if they have no idea what a foul even is. NBC should make a point to teach Americans the rules and the heritage of the sport. The more fans know and understand the game, the more willing they will be to tune into matches and cheer along.
With a better understanding of the sport, fans will also have a better feel for what is going on. To someone that doesn’t know a lick of soccer, watching a random number of men or women kick a ball around a field is probably not going to hold their attention for too long. Without knowing the rules, seeing extra time being added to the clock would be awfully baffling to newcomers. A better appreciation can be built by teaching fans the rules and history of soccer.
Sell the story lines and the super stars
Sports fans are always interested in what happens on and off the field. NBC soccer coverage needs to give fans access to the best players and the best story lines. They need to show potential fans the “Lebron Jameses” and the “Peyton Mannings” of the Premier League.
Certainly, if Tim Tebow can make headlines for signing as a third string quarterback, NBC can sell a story line surrounding Wayne Rooney being rumored to move from Manchester United to one of their biggest rivals, Chelsea. This could be compared to the defending champion Ravens trading Ray Rice – one of their most prolific offensive weapons – to the Steelers to fix their problem at running back.
You’re welcome, NBC.
Again, the more people know about the players and the sport, the more they will be willing to pay attention to the action. NBC must build the market by building the intelligent American soccer fan. Let them know who to cheer. Make them pick a club to support. The market seems to be theirs for the taking. For a more complete list of marketing tips for NBC, click here.
Have a look below at Mike Golub, COO for the Portland Timbers, explain a little about how to market soccer to America and how to make your way into the sports industry. Honestly, are you willing to watch Premier League soccer on NBC? Why or why not?
Photo credit – worldsoccertalk.com