In order to capture that interest and drive more awareness, a record number of soccer “friendlies” will be played across the United States in the coming months, many to record crowds. However of all the matches, only one, the Lyon-Montpellier matchup, will have a title on the line. The rest will be part of a massive international outreach during the traditional tune-up and training time for clubs before the August start of soccer in Europe. Why the French Cup in New Jersey?
“We have three reasons to bring the match to the United States,” said Sébastien Janodet, who leads the marketing for the French League. “We want to expose our football to a growing audience of fans; we want to expose our top clubs and the quality football they play to America; and we want to expand the outreach of French culture to a wider audience here in America. We think we can do all these things by starting a relationship with American fans through this game at Red Bull Arena.”
Janodet and other officials are confident that this matchup, as well as friendlies the clubs will play elsewhere (along with traditional powerhouse Paris St. Germaine), will help grow appreciation for French Soccer and get casual fans more attuned to French clubs, like they are with Premier League clubs or those of Italy’s Serie A, which have long started to establish a fan base in the United States.
“The Premier League really has a 20 year head start on marketing to the American fan,” Janodet added. “We realize that and think that the interest in the sport now is bigger than ever here, and we can help take advantage of the marketplace now by bringing our championship game here in July.”