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Poll: Limited U.S. interest in the World Cup
by Paul Kennedy, April 14th, 2014 3:48PM

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TAGS:  soccer business, world cup 2014

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[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] While polls are to be taken with a grain of salt, the Reuters/Ipsos online poll on U.S. interest in the World Cup is sobering. Eighty-six percent of Americans said they either know nothing or only a little bit about the World Cup, and more than two-thirds did not know Brazil will host the tournament. And two in three Americans do not plan to follow this year's tournament.

While international affairs are not the strong suit of Americans -- only one out of six Americans in a recent poll could pinpoint where Ukraine is on a world map -- throw soccer into the mix and serious interest in this year's tournament is scant. Only 7 percent said they anticipated following it closely.

But one-third of Hispanic Americans will follow the World Cup or some teams closely, according to the poll.

The poll includes the responses of 1,416 adult Americans taken April 7-11. The credibility interval, a measure of precision, is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


18 comments
  1. Rick Estupinan
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 4:40 p.m.
    I believe that the people taking the polls are the ones writing these negative reports . You ask these same people if people in Brazil like American Football , and they will write yes,they are very knowledgeable about it!

  1. BJ Genovese
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 6:22 p.m.
    I believe the poll. However I also read a poll that said 14-24 year olds watch more soccer than any other sport. Its getting better. But soccer is a sport driven by people who mainly have played or have kids that have played in the last ten years. If MLS was smart they would support high school programs to have Friday night under the lights games to get more people around the sport.

  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 7:12 p.m.
    Ha! They did not ask me or my family or my friends who are all counting the days and will watch every match. We are just glad that this time the time difference won't be so much and we won't have to set the alarm for 02:00.

  1. Robin Samms
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 7:23 p.m.
    Who did the Poll ? The NFL, NBA, or Sports radio talking heads, who are all attempting to minimize Soccer in the USA.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 7:43 p.m.
    Amici sportivi, vicini et lontani!!!Sobering? I suggest that most of our countrymen are clueless about global affairs and influences.; i.e., during the Iraq and Afghan conflicts, the majority had no clue where these countries are located. Sports has nothing to do with it; it's the isolationist attitude, tunnel-vision, and Facebook mania. Besides, most American soccer fans are pretty well educated and relate to global issues.

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 7:53 p.m.
    Funny, I did not see this poll. So, now, the results make sense. I wonder to whom this poll was presented, and where.

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 7:56 p.m.
    Furthermore, based upon the response of less than 2000 people, I hardly believe the validity of it. After all, even the average TV viewing for this season is at about 230,000+/-, still being reviewed and growing. So, publish the poll and results. Let us judge for ourselves.

  1. Kent Pothast
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 7:57 p.m.
    I am part of the Ipsos group and was asked about World Cup. The questions were impartial and straight forward. It is not a sports related group. They seldom do sport=related polls. I was surprised when they asked me about World Cup.

  1. Kent Pothast
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 8:48 p.m.
    To further elaborate, the Ipsos group is mostly for surveys about consumer products. If anything this group is probably less sport playing than an average group. I think the 1416 responders shows that more of the group was so disinterested that they did not even respond to the survey,

  1. Karl Schreiber
    commented on: April 14, 2014 at 8:57 p.m.
    Now I know: Even Reuters can perform sloppy work. To measure the popularity and potential of soccer in the U.S., or the U.S. interest in the upcoming World Cup, by using traditional sports marketing analyzes and audience measurement points is sloppy. Soccer demographics are quite different from established TV sports such as American football, basketball etc. For example: Using these analyzes, nobody would have predicted the business success of the Seattle Sounders FC, an organization that today could do well, business-wise, in all top leagues of the traditional soccer powers. Shucks, why even bother commenting… And what about girls and womens soccer. We invented it, and while traditional soccer powers have begun to catch up, we are still providing great training opportunities for many of their players. And we know where the host country for the next Women’s World Cup is.

  1. Nicholas Adams
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 1:59 a.m.
    There is a certain part of the mass media in America together with the representatives of other 'American' sports that are scared of Soccer taking over in this country and while I think we are still a long way from that yet it is a continually evolving, growing sport and these Dinosaurs will go to any lengths to bad mouth this great, WORLD, game. Do you have a World Cup for American Football, (No the Superbowl doesn't count), or Baseball? Actually, I think you do but no one is interested in watching that! Give in and accept the inevitable.

  1. Dustin Johnson
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 7:31 a.m.
    Undoubtedly, this poll is correct. And I don't know why anyone here would be shocked. Go to an MLS game. Actual fans of the sport of Soccer fall into 3 camps the wealthy (many who played the sport in suburban enclaves), Hispanics (mostly from the giant Mexican immigrant population) and younger hipster men. But the thing the sport has going for it is that these targets are all growing where as sports like baseball are shrinking. At this point in the sports growth, in my opinion, soccer is actually getting a disproportionate level of media coverage based on the actual fan base. For instance Nascar likely has more raw fans than soccer but they are not valuable demographically.

  1. Dustin Johnson
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 7:35 a.m.
    Also people there is no conspiracy against soccer. The top of the food chain in pro sports are all soccer fans and companies like ESPN and NBC are paying a premium to force it's expansion because they know where things are going demographically.

  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 8:42 a.m.
    Still looking for a same day round trip to USA-Germany, don't have any time to spend extra....no wonder no one realizes how huge it would be for FIFA to pull the 2018 from Russia........

  1. Kent Pothast
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.
    By the way, baseball's WORLD SERIES does not relate to an earth-wide championship. It was so named because the championship series was originally sponsored by the WORLD newspaper.

  1. John Hofmann
    commented on: April 16, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.
    Two or three people touched upon this above but I believe it needs emphasizing. People in the U.S. are horribly out-of-touch with the world -- if you'd asked the same people who were responding about the World Cup in this survey a few other things, like find Brazil on a map, or what is the official language of Brazil, and most would likely have failed these questions too. At least there might have been something else for soccer fans to focus on in this case, however.

  1. Kent Pothast
    commented on: April 17, 2014 at 3 p.m.
    But isn't that the point? The survey reflects a lack of interest in anything outside of their personal life, not just soccer. Ever watch WATTERS WORLD on the Bill O'Reilly show? But then, this is true in every country in which I have lived.

  1. Joe Grady
    commented on: April 20, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.
    Yes, maybe 7% are interested. And frankly that sounds about right. But "only" 7% of the US population, if it were it's own country, is still almost 22 million people. That would make us 'soccer people' the 54th largest country in the world, out of 243 named countries. Not too shabby.


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