Already the biggest sport on Earth with an estimated 4 billion fans worldwide, soccer has seen its profile rise dramatically in the U.S. in recent years. The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final drew a record 26.7 million viewers (and generated $40 million in ad revenue for Fox), while Major League Soccer—which added two teams this year—drew an average stadium attendance of more than 21,000 spectators per game in 2016, higher than the NBA or NHL (MLS games are often held in football stadiums, which have a higher capacity).
So just who are these American soccer fans and how can marketers reach them? 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.”