What the World Cup can teach us about spotting a trend early on.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

Here we are again, another sporting event of epic global proportions. I love seeing the car flags, the fervent support for one’s homeland, the world uniting in a deep seeded love for sports.

The interesting thing is soccer (sorry Piers, that’s just what we call it here) is a beautiful game loved around the world…except in North America. Sure there are fans, but the US and Canada as a whole don’t approach the event with the same fevered intensity of every other continent. But we think that’s about to change. North America just needs a few nudges in the right direction and we’ll be collectively hollering gooooooooaaaaal:

  1. We need to instill a natural love of the game in our kids. Soccer is already the #1 sport played by kids in North America. But it remains stuck in structured play. Let’s get kids out there playing pickup soccer like they do with hockey or basketball.
  2. We need big stars for these kids to idolize. And Toronto FC is starting…check out It’s a Bloody Big Deal.
  3. We have to coach our players to own the fake fall and bring on those yellow cards…we’re a tough bunch but we can’t win without them unfortunately.
  4. The US needs to get some wins at the World Cup…they beat Ghana on Monday, surprisingly, so they are on the right track.
  5. We’ve got the multicultural population to support it.
  6. We need to start calling it football so that…oh forget it, that would cause more confusion than we’re ready to handle.

We believe the conditions are right for a shift in soccer popularity around these parts. So as a marketer, can you see the clues to spot a trend early on so you can get on the ground floor? Heed our words, the next World Cup will be huge in Canada. So think about how you might get ahead of this trend now.

And our prediction for the 2014 World Cup? We’re split…I think the Netherlands will fight for the win they didn’t get in 2010 (plus I’m half Dutch). Luke predicts Argentina for the win (he’s not Argentinian, to be clear).