The Women’s World Cup ended this past Sunday, and the final gave us 7…yes, 7 goals on what concluded as team USA winning 5-2 over previous World Cup winner Japan. Ratings sky rocketed, and FOX reported 25.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history. As soccer marketers, it’s a natural reaction to think about how this World Cup victory—and the outstanding U.S. Women team performance—will help boost the beautiful game in the U.S.
First, it gives a generation of kids new idols to want to emulate. The last time the United States won a World Cup was in 1999—most of today’s teenagers weren’t even born, hence, had not experienced the thrill of seeing their country winning such an important tournament—until this past Sunday. This experience is so unique, that it might have the power to increase kids interest in soccer; that is, wanting to learn to play it, and also wanting to immerse in the soccer culture.
Wipes out the “soccer is boring” cliché. In the first 16 minutes of the game, 4 goals were scored. That’s 1 per every 4 minutes. Team captain Carli Lloyd scored 3 goals, one of them from midfield. The U.S. team kept the intensity until the last minute, when they were presented as World Champions. The game finished with 7 goals (the average goals per match during the tournament was 2.8 goals). Besides winning the Cup, the U.S. team also won individual awards for best player of the tournament (Carli Lloyd), second best goal scorer (Carli Lloyd), and best goalkeeper (Hope Solo). Overall, the U.S. Women’s National Team gave us an exciting game, proving that women CAN play the beautiful game, and play it well.
— HuffPost Sports (@HuffPostSports) July 5, 2015
The appeal of soccer as national pride. Unlike many other sports, soccer does not limit itself to city vs city matches or clubs and franchises games. The magnitude of the sport makes it so that when a nation team plays a match, all the fans of clubs and franchises, no matter if they are rivals, come together towards the same goal: to support a team as whole. People got a taste of how great it is to support the team as a nation, and when a nation wins the most important award in any sport, in this case, the World Cup, it helps develop a taste for continued national support, while also creating a passion for the sport.
Let’s hope that the pride and passion gained from the Women’s World Cup translates into continued support for the U.S. Soccer women and men’s teams in future competitions, like the Gold Cup, were the U.S. men’s team will fight to defend their title of current Gold Cup winners.