It has been a pretty good five months for those interested in sports in New Jersey. First there was the Giants Super Bowl run followed by the Devils going to the Stanley Cup Final. Now in July soccer will have its spot in the championship light when two French clubs, Ligue 1 Champion Montpellier Herault Sport Club and French Cup winner Olympique Lyonnais will meet at Red Bull Arena for the Trophee Des Champions—the French “Super Cup”—on July 28.
The matchup, the traditional beginning of the French soccer season, will be played in an English-speaking country for the first time ever, and is meant to be part of a larger scale outreach to promote the brand value of French soccer to the fastest-growing soccer audience in the world, that of the American fan.
“The American soccer market is growing, there is no question, and we are proud to be bringing our club here to play for our country’s championship for the first time,” said Christophe Toni, Coordinator of Professional Team LYON, during a recent site visit to New Jersey in advance of the July match. “Our goal is to develop the interest in French soccer and there is no better place to do it than in New York.”
During EURO 2012, the image of European soccer amongst even casual sports fans in the U.S. has grown exponentially. Virtually every bar and restaurant in the area has been tuned in to the goings-on in soccer the past few weeks, in and around the NBA Finals and the weekend’s Subway Series, even more proof that the world’s number one sport is taking more hold here than ever before.