Soccer Retail on the Rise During World Cup

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San Jose, CA—Brazil may have hosted and financially benefitted most from the 2014 FIFA World Cup competition, but U.S. retailers also saw a dramatic difference in American consumers’ interest in the game.

For the month of June, soccer-related searches increased by 280% in the United States compared to May, according to SLI Systems, an e-commerce technology provider. Searches from Brazilian consumers showed a similarly dramatic increase.

SLI Systems studied consumer search behavior between March 2 and July 9. The company conducted its study across eight international sporting goods and apparel retailers with combined monthly revenue of approximately $500 million and analyzed more than 341 million consumer searches to track interest in soccer-related products, using country-specific product terminology from the U.S. and Brazil. The interests of U.S.-based consumers were clear: there were more than 2.2 million soccer related product searches from just these eight e-commerce sites alone.

‘Online Shopping Boost’

“Everyone knows that soccer is a popular sport in South America. Working with more than 800 e-commerce vendors globally, SLI has the means to readily track which products they shop for online. We were curious to learn how the World Cup has affected interest in soccer and soccer goods in the U.S. and to compare that with Brazil,” said CMO Tim Callan of SLI Systems.

“Soccer is played year-round in the U.S., but recreational soccer gear tends to be purchased before fall and spring seasons. We found a boost in online shopping behavior during June for products ranging from soccer cleats, balls, shin guards, gloves and other equipment, demonstrating the country’s increased interest in actually playing the sport. It is clear that The World Cup U.S. fanfare will continue long after Sunday’s final game.”

Additional findings from the study include:

●June 16 was the peak day for soccer-related shopping in the U.S., the day U.S. played Ghana. The peak day in Brazil was the 3rd of July, the day before it played Columbia.

●In the United States, the international teams with most consumer interest are Brazil, followed by Germany, Argentina, and the Netherlands.

●In Brazil, the international team with the most consumer interest is overwhelmingly Argentina. The second most popular international team, the United States, received less than 5% the shopping behavior of Argentina.

Most popular search terms, in order, for the U.S. were:

Soccer

USA soccer

FIFA

Nike soccer

Sports apparel and footwear giants such as Nike and Addidas had predicted an upsurge in sales related to the World Cup. But no fashion-related sales data has been revealed so far.

One study in the United Kingdom found the biggest beneficiary for World Cup sales was beer!

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