Could soccer become America's "next national pastime?"
According to Mike Mulvihill, Fox Sports senior vice president of programming and research, there is no doubt. During an Advertising Week industry panel event in New York City, he explained his enthusiasm for the growth of live sports, particularily the lesser football.
He said that if broadcasters are going to continue to make big profits from live sports, the best avenue might be games of leagues already popular around the world, such as the UK's Premiership League. Mulvihill feels that soccer, which did a bigger rating in the 18-35 demo than NCAA basketball with its last World Cup, will be on the front of this new wave. As the population gets older, soccer gains in popularity among the youth.
"I like to think of (soccer) as a 50-year evolution. We're halfway through," he said.
Other panelists agreed.
Rob Prazmark, CEO of 21 Sports & Entertainment Marketing Group, said the "passion" and the "truly global" nature of soccer is driving Corporate America to fall for the world's most popular sport. His company recently did research for Johnson & Johnson which analized where the brand should put its advertising dollars. They selected the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
What do you think?