Spurs most popular Premier League team in USA

Tottenham are the most popular Premier League club in America according to an NBC poll last year.

Spurs in USA

The poll showed the top three to be:

1. Tottenham Hotspur 22%
2. Arsenal 14%
3. Manchester United 10%

NBC gambled on soccer becoming big in the Statesm they paid $250 million for the TV rights, but you don't take a gamble like that without doing serious research into the potential market. Thus far they have tripled the previous viewing market and have generated increased advertising revenue because of the young target audience.

The USA doing well in the World Cup saw 12.9 million people watching USA v Ghana compared to 17.9 who watched game 5 of the NBA finals. It is estimated that 25 million tuned in for the 2-2 draw with Portugal, the biggest ever figure for a match. The 2013 Baseball World Series averaged 15 million, this year Antonio Spurs won also averaging 15 million viewers.

A recent poll showed that 71% of Americans earning over $100,000 a year had an interest in the World Cup and only Brazilians bought more tickets for the games.

We all saw the shots of bars and streets where the game were shown on big screens packed out. In footballing terms it is still the land of opportunity, an untapped market.

American Football is slowly losing popularity and 40% of parents don't want their children playing the game any more, it's over 50% with high earning families.

In 1994 the US hosted the World Cup and all the youngster who played youth, club and high school soccer in the 1990's are having children of their own. It has started the process of being a generational sport. Soccer is a popular sport among the children, in 2012 there were over 3 million children registered playing the game in the States.

The major areas are:

California North – 171,267
Massachusetts – 164,901
New Jersey – 148,354
California South – 144,161
Virginia – 142,260
North Texas – 136,662
Eastern Pennsylvania – 127,426
Eastern New York – 121,101
Florida 108,057
Washington – 105,786
South Texas – 100,117

Since then soccer has started to grow faster, with a boom this year and Tottenham need to remain at the forefront of that growth. Soccer has grown faster than any other sport over the last 10 years in America and is the first sport to be imported and commercially scaled. It's just a generation old but it could eventually rise to be the second most popular sport, that is something to be a part of.

NBC produced a post of how to pick a Premier League team, they said about Spurs:

American Connection: Very strong, beginning with (but not ending with) Coach Ted Lasso. Spurs is where Brad Friedel plays, it was the home for Clint Dempsey before his return to America, and Tottenham has a strong presence with American fans, including Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane.

Why you should be a fan: Fun and open style of play that is wrapped up in one of their mottos: “The game is about glory.” … Strong connection to its community … Tremendous history and deeply devoted fan base.

Clearly there is something to build upon. This year sees the third tour in five years to the States, with open training sessions, signings, evening events, meeting official supporter groups, coaching clinics, it's more than just turn up to play a game.

Once again we were the first Premier League side to announce a tour which games against Seattle Sounders with whom we have a recent Clint Dempsey link, Toronto FC in Canada (who play in Major League Soccer), with whom we have the recent Jermain Defoe link and end up with Chicago Fire where we have young midfielder Grant Ward on loan.

Changing our kit sponsor to an American company, Under Armour, has meant further exposure and promotion means they'll be promoting us to a growing market.

Gareth Bale featured in Tottenham kit in huge Times Square adverts while the Real Madrid transfer saga was going on and of course apart from Clint Dempsey playing for us we now have Brad Friedel to promote us in the States.

Then of course there is the Head Coach of USA J├╝rgen Klinsmann, who also has the role of developing the sport. David Beckham came to train with Spurs and discuss a loan move with all the press coverage that brings.

What next? People need role models so having American players involved at Tottenham makes marketing sense, there were certainly one or two Americans at the World Cup who could play a role, like 20 year-old Seattle Sounders player DeAndre Yedlin. He was the substitute right-back who came on against Belgium and caused all sorts of problems.

Having someone like him to come over and learn would be terrific if in 4 years time he is then playing at the next World Cup. A role model for youngsters to follow. I think as part of our tour we should sign him, announce it while we are there develop him into Kyle Walker's understudy.

Alternatively we train him, use him sparingly and loan him back for the MLS season. That would create added local interest in Tottenham and help to build a fan base.

Or we could just give Ted Lasso another go.

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