The United States has a diverse sports landscape with a wide range of popular sports. American football, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey have traditionally dominated the American sports scene. These sports have strong fan bases, extensive media coverage, and well-established leagues. Major League Soccer is relatively new, only established in 1993, compared to old-timers like baseball! While soccer has always had a passionate following globally, several factors have contributed to its newfound mainstream appeal.
Some of soccer’s recent surge in popularity can be attributed to the television series “Ted Lasso.” This heartwarming comedy-drama, starring Jason Sudeikis, has become a cultural phenomenon and has resonated with viewers worldwide. The show centers around an American football coach, Ted Lasso, who finds himself coaching a struggling English Premier League soccer team. The show has been praised for its humor, heartwarming stories, and positive message and is credited with helping introduce soccer to new audiences in the US.
The US Women’s National Team (USWNT) has won four World Cup titles, making them the most successful women’s national team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup history. They have earned second and third-place finishes as well and consistently ranked among the top teams in the world. The team’s success has captivated audiences and elevated the national profile of soccer in the United States. Their achievements have propelled women’s soccer into the limelight and inspired more young women to play.
Apple has made a number of investments in soccer content. In 2021, Apple acquired NextGen TV, a new broadcast technology designed to improve the quality of soccer broadcasts. Apple has also partnered with several soccer clubs, including Manchester City and FC Barcelona, to produce original content. In 2022, Apple TV signed a deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) to broadcast every MLS regular-season match, the entire playoffs, and the Leagues Cup, all with no blackouts. The deal is reportedly worth $2.5 billion over ten years.
Apple TV’s uninterrupted soccer coverage is available in over 100 countries and regions. Fans can watch matches on mobile phones, smart TVs, and other streaming devices using the Apple TV app. Apple’s investment in soccer is a sign of the sport’s growing popularity in the United States. In addition to MLS, Apple TV airs select matches from the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, and Germany’s Bundesliga. The company has also acquired the rights to broadcast the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League and UEFA Europa League from 2024 to 2027.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and thanks to Ted Lasso, the US Women’s National Team, and AppleTV, Americans are finally tuning in. Our Gallery mobile Carts and kiosks are already in several MLS stadiums nationwide. We’re excited to help operators serve more delicious food and drinks to this vibrant and growing fanbase.