American football is the most watched sport in the U.S.; soccer, with an estimated 4 billion fans, is the number one sport in the world. But soccer is starting to take a foothold in the US. According to Forbes, it will soon be America’s third-favorite spectator sport surpassing baseball. This includes women’s soccer where the women’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final was the most-watched soccer game in the history of the United States with 25.4 million viewers on Fox. As marketers, the question we ask ourselves is “who are these fans?” “Are they all men?” The “Women’s World of Football” study carried out by consultancy firm SPORT+MARKT said 38 percent of football fans worldwide are female. “The times when men ruled the world of football are over,” SPORT+MARKT Executive Director Hartmut Zastrow said in a statement.
And what about American fans? According to AdWeek, consumer analytics platform Hitwise gathered search and audience data from 2014 to 2017 to paint a clearer picture. “For brands and marketers, it’s worth noting that the soccer fans audience is 40 percent female,” said Rochelle Bailis, Hitwise global director of content. “It presents an opportunity to engage with the young women soccer fans in the early stages of the soccer movement, rather than having to play catch-up with female fans like many other sports organizations had to do.”
Targeting the soccer female fan is a must when you consider these numbers and the fact that women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S., and that global spending by women will be at about $18 trillion by next year and, according to Nielsen Consumer, the current purchasing power of women in the U.S. ranges from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually.
Even though soccer female fans exist and women in general have more power than ever, soccer marketing and advertising campaigns are still mainly male focused. General marketers, as well as Multicultural marketers, should follow the opportunity to gain their attention and engage with this growing woman’s segment especially since she is the decision-maker in the household, who defines home and personal technology choices for herself and her family and, who highly depends on mobile services and is driving social media numbers up.
Based on the lack of research that defines the behavior of the soccer female fan, our soccer fan team here at Eclipse defined these four groups, just for fun, to gather some info and to open the conversation:
A – THE SUPER FAN: She knows everything about soccer, can recite the best goals in history backwards! She knows the stats, major worldwide team names, knows who the best players and up-and-coming players are beyond the ones on her favorite team. She loves the game so much that she also favors other teams including a few in America, others in Europe and even in Africa. Technology will be her key ally to follow the 2018 FIFA World Cup, she’ll use her DVR and/ or TV everywhere to catch every detail of the big game. She probably has even arranged a few vacation days so she doesn’t miss anything for the finals, LIVE!
B – THE OCCASIONAL FAN: She has an overall understanding of the soccer culture, knows the most popular team and players. However soccer is not in her day-to-day, she just follows the big events like UEFA Champions League, Copa America and of course the FIFA World Cup; among others. It’s probably a family thing, where from generation-to-generation they all enjoy the sport and strongly believe that watching the games is a nice way to spend time together. She follows a few soccer clubs and is a fan of well-known players and watches some of the popular TV soccer shows in English and Spanish just to keep track of what’s going on so she has something to say during family discussions.
C – SOCCER CELEBRATION FAN: She’s not a die-hard soccer fan but she enjoys the game and would never miss an opportunity to celebrate a big sporting event like the FIFA World Cup. Her house is the clear go-to place to gather when a good match is coming. She checks the schedules and details to make sure everybody enjoys the “Beautiful Game.” She really loves the friend and family reunions, the music (she can sing and dance popular world cup anthems) and she always makes sure food, drinks and a nice playlist is ready for the occasion. She recognizes that home WiFi is vital to enjoy the game inside or outside the home.
D – THE SOCCER WIDOW: She doesn’t really care about soccer, the world cup or anything in between. She probably grew-up in a family of soccer fanatics and promised herself that she would never marry a soccer fan, and guess what? She missed the ball! So during big soccer events, her plan is to be as far away as possible from the soccer craziness and escape to gather with other soccer widows. She also uses this month-long event to binge-watch hours of her favorite shows and she does this anywhere the word GOOOOL cannot be heard!
So, let us know… What type of soccer fan are you?
Just click the fan type you identify most with and watch the insta-results!
BONUS CONTENT: Click here to learn about Football and the Female Audience.
Over to YOU! Are you a fan of any sport? If so, which one (or more)… and what kind of fan are you? We’d love to hear from you.
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