So every year Nielsen releases a report called the State of the Media - The Year in Sports, and each year they offer some insights on soccer and this year is no different, a good portion of the info is dedicated to the 2011 Women's World Cup, including the fact that 13.5 million viewers watched the match in the US. The match was on very late in Japan and only 2.1 million watched the final live, but that was 53.5% of the people who were watching TV.
A lot of focus in this years report is the "N-Score", what is a N-Score? It is an in-depth look at thousands of sports figure's overall endorsement potential, factoring in the attributes and demographic measures that align brands with endorsers. Here are the top N-Scores for various ethnic groups:
As you can see how some athletes have appeal across multiple groups, but clearly the highest rate of influence for advertising is the Williams sisters whose numbers for African Americans are off the charts.
When it comes to soccer players, David Beckham has a 95 N-Score, while Landon Donovan has a 31. Hope Solo coming off the Women's World Cup has a 33 N-score. Nielsen believes that the influence of Beckham and Donovan helped the MLS Cup ratings which were up 39% over 2010.
a couple more facts after the jump:
2011 saw the CONCACAF Gold Cup take place and the final between the USA and Mexico, was watched by 9 million viewers in the US, 8 million on Univision and 1 million on Fox Soccer Channel. One fact that was reported is very troubling for me as a MLS fan, the top advertising spenders on soccer (Anheuser Busch, T-Mobile, General Motors, and Verizon) spend 95% of their dollars on Spanish language network TV.
With MLS signing their new deal with NBC Sports, one has to hope that the spend dollars for English language broadcasts will increase.
There was also some interesting information about the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, viewership in the US was up 59% from the 2010 version, of course the 2010 final was Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich and the 2011 version was Barcelona vs. Manchester United. 2.6 million people watched the 2011 final in the United States, not bad numbers but in Spain 14.1 million people watches the Semi-Final between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
So there you have a quick look at how soccer is looked at by the advertising world, remember that Nielsen numbers are a huge factor in how leagues and teams negotiate their TV rights as well as how they can charge for sports sponsorships and advertising.
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