Can MLS make Americans care about Soccer?

The Festival of Football ends today and it has left an indelible mark on the worldwide sports landscape. Some of the sporting public have remained indifferent. Others have become interested as to what this month-long sporting spectacle is all about. The casual fans with national pride oozing from their pores have brought this heartbeat to a fever pitch. The soccer/fútbol fanatics have long implored America to get behind The Beautiful Game and because of the internet, there will be empirical data that supports it!

For example, Americans have learned the FIFA World Cup does not end with the elimination of the United States. Yes, John Brooks’s late goal giving team USA the lead against Ghana stirred the pot of a nation! Yes, while most were counting down the days until NFL teams open training camps, the USA’s march to the Round of 16 sparked amazing scenes of national pride and interest that piques every four years (like another sporting event I’ll mention later in this post)! Yes, an estimated 21.6 million watched Belgium eliminate the Americans on U.S. television and another 1.7 million watched online! Yes, the ratings were better than the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat and last year’s World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, with the former held in a weekday afternoon as opposed to the latter championship series set as appointment viewing in primetime. With that, the fútbol fanatics have said, “Soccer is here to stay” while the rest of the world wonders, “Will Americans finally take football (not the game you play in pads and helmets) seriously?”

As of 4pm Eastern time the MLS-produced video has 2900 views since its publication July 10th. Promotion lacking? Maybe?

With that in mind, Major League Soccer (the USA’s top professional soccer league) must aggressively promote the players that have featured in the 2014 World Cup on the US Men’s National Team. Key players Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin of the Seattle Sounders, Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City, Omar Gonzalez of LA Galaxy are a few players MLS must promote and feature on a weekly basis if MLS and soccer must take root once and for all in the USA. Everything else (money, investment, commercial appeal) will come after that. The money and investment will come when the players are promoted like personalities. NFL and NBA players are equally known for their talents between the white lines and their personas away from them, causing children to pick up a football or a basketball and dream of throwing the touchdown pass that wins the Super Bowl or hitting the shot at the buzzer that wins his team the NBA Finals. Every thing I mentioned contributes to making soccer stars more appealing to women, children and the individuals indifferent to soccer. That’s defined as their Q Score.

As of 4pm Eastern Time, the Adidas-produced video promoting today’s final between Argentina vs Germany has 15 million views since its publication July 11th. What does a Q Score mean?

The Q Score is a measurement of the familiarity or appeal of a brand, company and/or celebrity used in the United States. The higher the Q Score, the more highly regarded the item or person is among the group that is familiar with them. Q Scores are primarily used by the media, marketing, advertising, and public relations industries. If the likes of Dempsey, Yedlin, Zusi and other American-born players inspire children to forgo the gridiron for the pitch. Americans will make soccer into a priority rivaling the four major sports. Rather than viewing the World Cup as a summer Olympics like experience with its purpose being to bridge the gap between the end of the NBA finals and the start of NFL Training Camp.

As of 4pm Eastern Time, this Nike produced video has 64 million views since its publication June 9, before the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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