In another life, I work as a reporter covering the United States men’s national soccer team. As you certainly know, the World Cup took place this summer and ratings jumped 41 percent. People cared.
So did editors. At least for the three- to six-month period before the tournament. Multiple editors asked me if I could write stories for them explaining the World Cup, and I was only too happy to oblige. Spreading the gospel, etc., etc. Then, the United States lost and… crickets. Suddenly, no one cared anymore and interest dried up.
Now, I’m not surprised – soccer is a fringe sport, one that’s entirely driven by the World Cup – but the sheer immediacy of it all was a bit shocking. There was interest, and then there was none. Google Trends reflects this reality. The graphic above shows the search term “soccer.” The spike is the World Cup, then it returns to pre-World Cup levels.
A longer view is even more telling. The graphic below shows two spikes – the 2006 World Cup and the ’10 event. Huge spikes, then massive valleys. The beautiful game isn’t gaining much ground.
At least 2014 is only four years away.