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Survey | How football fans in the US and UK compare


Overall SMG-Insight’s data highlights differences between the demographics of football fans in a mature (UK) and new (US) football market.

While the US soccer fan base is skewed male, it is not as ‘male dominated’ as in the UK and may make the sport more ‘sponsor friendly’ in this market.

The number of US soccer fans in the 25-44 age bracket may represent a commercial positive, but is not necessarily unique amongst sports.

While soccer in many countries is perceived to reach the lower end of the demographic scale, soccer in the US challenges that notion to some degree. The income spread is more balanced.

Overall, the demographic profile of the US soccer fan base says that it has great commercial potential. The challenge is less about the split of the pie and more about its size.


The graph, which compares US TV audiences for domestic (MLS) and international (UCL) soccer shows a significant audience for quality football in the US market.

The US market is discerning and, even when combining audiences from three targeted broadcasters, the MLS Cup still falls well short of the UCL Final.

Despite being the No.5 sport in the market (behind the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL), the market opportunity for ‘non-domestic’ football competition in the US looks to be greater.

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