Jun 9, 2014 | John S Kiernan, Senior Writer & Editor
Are you ready for some football? We obviously know it as soccer, but no matter what you call it, the beautiful game is set to captivate the globe as the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off from Brazil June 12. After all, there is no shortage of story lines associated with the Brazil edition of this quadrennial celebration of sport. From the home country’s last-minute scramble to ready itself for the world stage and the accompanying protests regarding the government’s massive infrastructure investment to questions of tourist safety and doubts about the stability of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, the drama is at a fever pitch before the games have even begun.
Then there’s what the World Cup means for the business of soccer in the United States. Interest in soccer among American consumers has been steadily rising with the aid of a number of important tailwinds – including the popularity of youth soccer, MLS stability, America’s growing immigrant population, and the rise of new 24/7 sports networks. So, as the red, white and blue prepares to make its seventh consecutive World Cup appearance in a country with only an hour’s time difference from the East Coast, sponsors are gearing up for record U.S. viewership.
But will it pay off in the end – for the home nation, the U.S. squad, or the companies fueling this global sporting spectacle? While it’s difficult to say for sure, WalletHub crunched the numbers and asked the experts in order to gain a bit of added insight into the grand event. Hopefully the resulting 2014 World Cup By The Numbers Infographic and Q&A with leading experts in the fields of sport management and economics will make your viewing experience as enjoyable and enlightening as possible.