July 11, 2006

Still Alive!

Hey Everyone!

I know, I know... I haven't written in a while. Truth is, I was (and still am) so busy with our newest product ( It's probably the most involved product I have worked on so far. A lot of possibilities with this one...

What do you think? Any input, question or comment?

So, I am going to try to keep this thing updated again.

June 12, 2006

Why the Soccer World Cup is bigger than any American sporting event

Hi all!

Let's talk about the World Cup today!

As the German I am, it saddens me to see so little attention being paid to the World Cup here in the United States. I wonder, why is that? I talked to an american friend today, who said the World Cup is nothing in comparison to the Super Bowl. I couldn't believe that and looked up some numbers...

In December of 2005 the draw for the World Cup finals was made in Leipzig, Germany. Without a ball actually being kicked, more than 350 million people tuned in via their television sets while millions more followed the proceedings over the Internet just to see whom their country would be paired with. The Super Bowl, is watched by less than 100 million people, stateside!

It's get's even better:
The last World Cup in South Korea and Japan was watched by a cumulative audience of a staggering 28.8 billion people, while the final itself between Brazil and Germany attracted 1.1 billion viewers, the largest TV audience in sporting history. By the way, these figures only account for home viewing so when you take into account the number of fans in bars and restaurants it would be much higher. So, looking at pure numbers there can be no doubt what is bigger.

I did go to a few football and baseball games here in the States, just to check it out. Both sports enjoy increasing popularity in Germany. The football team of my hometown (Hamburg Blue Devils) draws crowds in the thousands every weekend.

What I noticed though, here in the states especially, is that for a lot of people the sporting event seemed to be more of a family picnic, rather than a competitive sporting event. I was irritated by cheerleaders on the side, trying to amuse me when the game was slow, or some PA announcer telling the crowd to make some noise.

In soccer you don't have those elements, no cheerleaders, no PA announcer heating up the crowd, or dramatic music when the ball gets closer to a goal. The noise in the soccer stadiums comes from the people, it's organic.

I believe that is the main difference here. Personally, I think American sports are to a big part about pure entertainment. That is not the case with soccer. The bottom line is winning in soccer. Whole nations go ballistic with joy, there is an identification with it, that I have not seen in the US.

Well, before I go off here, let me finish with a quote by a famous coach named Bill Shankly who once said the following when asked if football (soccer) is more important than life and death:

"Listen, it's more important than that."