Football in the United States
Football, as a separate sport in its classic European representation, appeared in the United States not so long ago, but it quickly began to gain popularity.
How it was started
Americans know how to organize sports leagues.
Although, some 20 years ago, it seemed that there would always be only one type of football in the United States — American. The one played by the whole world did not take root even on the legacy of the 1994 World Cup.
By 1999, the newly formed MLS had a debt of $ 250.000.000, tried a bunch of rule changes that scared off a few fans, and lost several clubs, returning to the originally stated figure of 10 teams.
Today, 24 teams play in the US Soccer League. The total attendance of the domestic championship matches increased from 2.900.000 viewers to 7.300.000.
How did they do it
Americans have always treated sports clubs as business projects in the first place. If the club is unprofitable, no one will save it by artificially keeping it afloat. Each region is reviewed by analysts for interest in the football team. If there is a demand, then there is a conversation about creating an MLS club.
The emergence of big football stars has generated a special interest in football as a world sport in the country.
For example, the legendary Pele ended his sports career as a player of the New York Cosmos in 1977. But the turning point was the arrival of Englishman David Beckham, who signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham literally became the advertising face of American football, not only because of the high quality of the game, but also because of his image, charisma, and English charm.
It is thanks to the players of this scale that MLS attracts young fans and remains relevant in the information field. Not the highest average level of football players in the championship allows superstars to demonstrate a high level at a solid age.
Also, the local national team played an important role in popularizing football in the States. At the 2002 World Cup, the Americans sensationally reached the quarterfinal stage. A powerful surge of interest in the previously not very popular sport led to the fact that 61,316 spectators came to watch the final match of the MLS Cup in October of the same year.
In turn, according to a Nielsen Sports study. According to the average attendance of matches for the period from 2013 to 2018, the United States holds the eighth place in the world (21,358 spectators at the game) and is just behind France and Italy. Even more impressive is the work in new places. Formed only in 2017, “Atlanta United” gathers more than 50 thousand people at matches.
At the same time, the US women’s national team is the dominant force in world football. At all seven FIFA World Cups, American women took medals: three times gold, once silver, and three times bronze. The popular phrase in America that “soccer is for girls” has led to a broad and steady fan base among women.
For the American federation, the success of the players was a signal that, contrary to the initial views, football can become popular in the country in the same format in which it became popular around the world. To do this, you do not need to engage in “Americanization” and invent some football shootouts, with just enough to play classic football and do it efficiently.
Football and sports betting
Naturally, where the excitement prevails over a popular sport, the excitement of earning money and bookmaking automatically appears.
A huge Gallup study last year led to stunning conclusions: baseball betting in the United States is dying, and in turn, football betting is not just in the TOP 4 most popular betting categories, but in the future will displace all but the American version of football in frames and helmets.
Bets on football in the United States are accepted by all the leading and little-known bookmakers, offering a lot of markets and quite high coefficients for this sport.
Thus, football has turned from a gambling hobby of millions into a good additional source of income for most Americans.