The U.S. national soccer team entered this year’s World Cup as underdogs, and went on to exceed all expectations. While they fell to the Belgian’s in the “round of 16” this team made soccer fans of millions of Americans. Was all this hype genuine, or just fodder for a news cycle or two?
According to some new figures published by e-commerce specialist SLI Systems, a spike in soccer-related online retail activity among American consumers shows that the hype was very much a real phenomenon.
SLI said that its study of consumer search behavior between March 2 and July 9, 2014 showed a 280% increase in soccer-related online shopping in the U.S.
The firm said that June 16th — the day U.S. played Ghana — was the peak day for soccer-related shopping in the U.S. The most popular soccer-related search terms were “soccer,” “USA soccer,” “FIFA” and “Nike soccer.”
And while the U.S. often gets accused of only caring about U.S. teams in international competitions like the Olympics and World Cup, this year’s soccer searches showed that Americans had a healthy interest in international teams as well.
SLI’s data showed that the top non-U.S. teams searched by U.S. consumers were Brazil, Germany, Argentina, and the Netherlands. Considering that the only team on that list that the U.S. team played was Germany, it is evidence that perhaps Americans are embracing the international aspects of the sport.
This is a good thing, since the U.S. team’s gritty determination and team-centric work ethic created U.S.A. fans around the world during World Cup 2014. Hopefully, this growing interest among Americans will help the U.S. to become a true leader among soccer-playing nations. Just don’t ask us to start calling the sport “football.”
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