It always cracks me up when I start to notice the marketing for pro-soccer-in-America heating up. Since David Beckham starts playing for the LA team in July (…sorry, the “LA Galaxy” — I literally had to look it up)…the radio, TV, and magazine spots have started to appear.
The potential in sports licensing, advertising and merchandising is what’s driving the push, of course. I doubt few, if any, markets generate as much sports-related income as the US. But boy, this is a road we’ve walked down before, isn’t it? The average American just couldn’t give a hoot about the game. I played soccer for seven years, and even I can’t seem to muster a long-term interest.
Why is that, I wonder? What is it about the American experience that makes soccer a “less-than” sport? It’s like the metric system of the sports world: no matter how good it might be, Americans are just not gonna have it. It’s right up there with Canadian Ice Curling as a sport Americans would rather not be forced to watch on TV. Yet the rest of the world goes absolutely bonkers over it.
While watching an Arsenal game in a pub one time, an English friend of mine told me that he was glad Americans weren’t into the game. He said that if we were, the World Cup would play out like the American medal count at the end of the Summer Olympics. He was much happier to see us sit it out, thank you very much. And he probably had a point.
So I say, “Watch out, Canada! The day we get interested in Ice Curling, you guys are going down!”