How Can Your Brand Be More Like U.S. Soccer?
This year’s World Cup marked a milestone for U.S. soccer support. According to this article, the USA v. Portugal match was both the highest-rated soccer game ever in the U.S. and the most viewed sporting event of the year so far, excluding American football. By all accounts, World Cup 2014 seems to be a turning point. Why? What can your brand learn from Tim Howard and the USMNT (United States Men’s National Team)?
Here’s 3 Ways Your Brand Can Be Like U.S. Soccer:
1. Being Good Helps.
When the tournament draws were announced, no one expected the U.S. to make it out of the “Group of Death.” The USMNT beat Ghana and dominated much of the Portugal game, out-performing expectations. Their quality of play gave the fans hope and generated incredible support. Whatever your brand does, quality should always be the focus. Being exceptional gets attention, can earn respect, and usually fosters support and admiration. Be good at what you do.
2. Connect with your Audience – Be cool.
For whatever reason, professional soccer hasn’t connected with the American public or ‘been cool.’ According to this article, that’s changing. America has become younger and more diverse, two demographics that love soccer. Most millennials, including myself, played soccer as a kid, so the fondness for the game is stronger for “us” than our parents who likely grew up playing football or baseball. What do this mean to your brand? Know what your audience likes. If you’re appealing to an older target, then maybe soccer isn’t the way to reach them.
3. Have realistic expectations
While World Cup fever has been exceptional this year and notable in years past, it’s not sustainable. What IS realistic is using the momentum to build and maintain interest. Set realistic goals. Research is always the first step. Know your audience and set benchmarks – small steps, attainable goals. Realistic expectations ensure that you’re after long-term success rather than a quick, temporary spike.
World Cup 2014 has been great fun to watch. Even though the U.S. lost to Germany, it’s safe to say that soccer has gained many fans stateside. If the MLS and USMNT continue to produce quality, appeal to their fans and have realistic attendance and sales expectations, then the future for American soccer is bright. Follow these tactics and the future of your brand is bright too.