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Martinez Set to Raise Wigan’s US Profile

Roberto Martinez is set t 002 300x180 Martinez Set to Raise Wigans US Profile

ESPN in the United States has hired Wigan Manager Roberto Martinez to provide commentary from South Africa during the 2010 World Cup.

The animated Martinez who had an excellent playing career in England and Scotland along with his native Spain is major capture for the American broadcaster.

World Cup broadcasters in Spain and Great Britain had sought Martinez’s services over the summer. Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan is sure to have encouraged Martinez’s summer employment, as the overall profile of Wigan Athletic will be elevated in the United States.

Whelan, who has built Wigan from a non league club to a perennial mid-table Premiership side in short order, may be able to exploit Martinez’s increased profile to also elevate the recognition of the town of Wigan.

I recently completed the book, Pies and Prejeduce, in Search of the North, by author Stuart Maconie. In the book Maconie who is from Wigan, states “ I come from a hick town.” He does go on to state that Wigan is the only place in Britain with a Premiership football club and Super League Rugby side.

So much of Wigan’s sporting lore has to do with Dave Whelan and perhaps the small “hick” town which is like so many American middle sized places can connect with US based football fans. Martinez’s hiring by ESPN furthers this possibility.

Americans love an underdog, and Wigan is the ultimate Premier League underdog. Previously Wigan was the ultimate Football League underdog as well. Martinez who played a key role in two of Wigan’s promotions knows this well.

So while Roberto Martinez works on connecting with the American audience this summer, remember the role of his club and his owner.


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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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