According to a recent poll conducted by ESPN, Major League Soccer is now just as popular as Major League Baseball among Americans aged 12-17. With the rise of a domestic soccer league in the United States and the increased exposure we now have to the top flight European soccer leagues; the sport most beloved throughout the world is finally starting to catch on in the United States.
While the Superbowl and World Series garner an immense amount of viewership, the quadrennial event known as the World Cup is a spectacle rivaled by none other. In fact, it has been reported that half of humanity tuned in to watch at least one game during the 2010 World Cup; and experts are predicting an even larger audience for 2014. The game certainly is beautiful, and the tournament is always riveting – but there a few other reasons why we love the World Cup.
1. It’s about Home
At Coldwell Banker we believe that home is everything. Our homes are where we’re from, where we feel safe, and is a reflection of who we are. Each of us belong to a home with walls and nails and our loved ones in it, but we also belong to a home much bigger than the one we come home to each night. And that home is our country – wherever that may be for you. For one month, 23 players from 32 nations wear their country’s colors and do their best to represent the determination, character, passion, and resilience of their people. And for one month, despite whatever differences that may divide people of any given country, we all gather together side by side in plazas, pubs and homes, and root for our respective countries. Our home. It also gives us the ability to take a look back and appreciate where we came from as well. Whether we had grandparents who moved to the United States from Italy, or ancestors who migrated from Spain to Puerto Rico - often times the World Cup offers us the chance to also pull for countries who hold a special place in our family’s story.
2. Video Content is King
As marketing guru Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell”. We feel like there is no more powerful medium than video to tell beautiful and engaging stories. Whether it’s our videos from our International Film Festival, Homefield Advantage series or the tens of thousands of agent and listing videos on our digital platforms – we know that video is an unparalleled way to connect with people in 2014.
The ramp up to the World Cup has seen a flood of engaging video content that connects with both avid and casual fans. While I’m sure many of the other participating countries have done so, US Soccer has embraced the power of video to tell stories and build a connection between American fans and the 23 young men on this year’s team. They recently released a video series titled: “One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories” that illustrates how powerful simple video can be.
3. It will be the most “Social” event in history
Lewis Wiltshire at Twitter recently told The Guardian that “the 2010 World Cup was the largest period of sustained activity for any event in Twitter’s history”. With that being said, there have already been more tweets generated about this World Cup before a ball has been kicked than for the entire tournament in 2010. From players engaging with fans on Instagram and Twitter, to broadcast analysts actively engaging with fans across the major social platforms; Social Media is no longer on the periphery – but an integral part of the World Cup experience in 2014.
We love this because social is at the heart of everything we do at Coldwell Banker. Whether it be having meaningful conversations with consumers and our network via our #HomeRocks hashtag that we added to the end of our commercial, to posting MTV Cribs-like pictures of homes on Instagram, to holding user generated video contests on YouTube – we love the way social allows for authentic two way conversations.
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The true power of sport is that it is about more than just the game that gets played. It’s about the underdog. It’s about passion, dedication, persistence, belief and buying into being a part of something greater than just ourselves. We love the World Cup and are eagerly anticipating the magical moments that are assuredly to come in the games that will be played. But we also love the World Cup because of how it wonderfully reflects our society and how so much can change within four short years. Online video has exploded, Social Media has become ubiquitous and we’ve fully embraced the second (and third) screen. Everything changes and so have we. The World Cup highlights the best part of the human spirit and shows us how despite our differences, we are all very similar. We wish whoever you route for the best luck! Who do you have winning the tournament?
*Soccer field image courtesy of Paullus23 * Plaza image courtesy of Daily Mail UK