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5 Reasons Why Manchester City Can Conquer America

welcome to manchester 5 Reasons Why Manchester City Can Conquer America

Manchester City is considering embarking on a preseason tour of the United States this summer to establish itself as a global brand and to gain ground on Manchester United’s popularity overseas.

The report in The Guardian from last Tuesday says that the talks are only at a preliminary stage, but there have been talks about staging one of the preseason games (after the World Cup) in either New York or Philadelphia. Manchester City’s chief executive Garry Cook previously worked as a marketing executive at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon, so Cook is very familiar with the opportunities to ‘break’ the country.

Bizarrely, Guardian reporter Daniel Taylor refers to the previous tours by Chelsea and Manchester United to ‘break’ the U.S. market as failures, which is a ridiculous statement to make. Chelsea’s tour last summer was an incredible success as the team played in front of sold-out crowds across the United States. Manchester United has also done extremely well in ticket sales on previous tours. Yes, you could argue that Chelsea and Manchester United have not broken into the U.S. market, but by what measure do you define breaking a market? Soccer is increasing in popularity in this country, but overnight success can not be expected (unless the United States wins the World Cup).

Personally, I think Manchester City has an enormous opportunity to establish themselves as a brand to be reckoned with in the United States and can become increasingly more popular than they are now. There will be a large numbers of sports fans in the United States this summer who will become soccer fans and will be looking for teams to support. A tour of the States featuring a team of cosmopolitan players based in England would be an incredible success, and will be buoyed by the honeymoon period of interest after the World Cup is over.

The opportunity for Manchester City to become very popular in the United States is very attainable. Manchester United only seems to visit the States as a last resort (Asia and South Africa have been the first and second choices in recent years). Arsene Wenger is reluctant to allow his Arsenal team to tour the United States despite the fact that Arsenal supporters are clamoring for the team to visit for the first time since 1989. Chelsea is the most serious about conquering the United States, but even though they have played in front of sold-out stadiums over several years in the U.S., the club doesn’t seem to have been embraced by most Americans.

Here are 5 reasons why Manchester City can conquer America:

  1. Manchester City has the money to buy success. It always helps put butts on the seats when football clubs can buy some of the most exciting talent that’s available. And with the practically unlimited funds that Manchester City possesses due to its mega-rich owners, being able to purchase some top level athletes will undoubtedly create a lot of interest in Manchester City, both Stateside and around the world.
  2. Manchester City’s squad can do what Major League Soccer cannot. And that is fielding some of the top players in the world that represent the melting pot that is America. A Manchester City tour of the United States would appeal to ethnic groups represented by the following countries: Argentina (because of Carlos Tevez and Pablo Zabaleta), Paraguay (Roque Santa Cruz), Ireland (Shay Given and Stephen Ireland), Brazil (Sylvinho), Ivory Coast (Kolo Toure), France (Patrick Vieira), Bulgaria (Martin Petrov), Wales (Craig Bellamy), Italy (Roberto Mancini) and, of course England (Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and Wayne Bridge).
  3. Americans love underdogs who play attractive football. It’s a bit strange to call the richest soccer club in the world an underdog, but Manchester City is an underdog when you consider where they rank in the Premier League. In previous seasons, we’ve seen how teams such as Wigan Athletic, Fulham and Hull City have become popular in the States because the clubs have played attractive football and have been underdogs. And in the case of Fulham and Hull City have recruited Americans. Now if City could sign an American star such as Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey, the proposed summer tour to the States would be an even greater success.
  4. Manchester City has a history of playing friendlies in the States. In 1968, they visited the States on a tour and played against the Atlanta Chiefs and Oakland Clippers. Manchester City returned to the States after their regular season ended in 1980 to play in the Trans-Atlantic Cup where they played against the New York Cosmos and Vancouver Whitecaps. They returned the following summer, this time to play in Canada, against the Vancouver Whitecaps. In 1983, they traveled to Florida and played in the Sunshine International Series against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
  5. Manchester City has been a part of the American soccer fabric since the 1970s. It’s been almost 30 years since the NASL shut its doors, but many City players from the 70s and 80s played in the NASL. The soccer fans who grew up on the NASL will remember Manchester City legends such as Brian Kidd, Rodney Marsh, Dennis Tueart, Dave Watson, Alan Ball, Colin Bell, Joe Corrigan, Kaz Deyna and many others. Soccer fans that followed the NASL in this country, who I believe are the foundation of soccer in this country, will have a deep appreciation for Manchester City.

Those five important ingredients can help Manchester City become more popular in the United States if the club is able to tour the country this summer, and is able to continue coming back and having the patience necessary to keep pushing to make City a household name in the USA.

Photo credit: Dullhunk.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

41 Responses to 5 Reasons Why Manchester City Can Conquer America

  1. tom roberts says:

    Good points but Santa Cruz comes from Paraguey.

  2. Sean Keenan says:

    We will see how enthusiastic the Americans are when they find out about citehs rich Arab owners, this is a ridiculous article. Given that all of Citys “massive” fanbase is in stockport and they didnt even fill the gound against stoke in the FA cup……..oh wait now they have global appeal, furthermore if you think City are playing attractive football you are out of your mind.

    Pure nonsense

    • The Three Lions says:

      To be fair the FA cup is no longer that popular now in England. Certainly not for the bigger clubs anyway. Plus that game was live on ITV1 (a free channel in England). If i was a city fan I probably would have stayed home or gone to the pub to watch it rather than paying £40 to go and watch city vs stoke in the FA cup.
      Plus it’s all relative, the stadium might have been half full but that stadium holds close to 50,000. Americans would probably be high fiving if they got 25,000 to one of their matches.
      This was the 4th round of a cup that I’m sorry to say no longer matters in the eyes of many English fans. It’s all about getting top four and playing Champions League against the best in the world

    • Husker Blu says:

      Yeah….a lot of supporters all the way from Stockport….as opposed to mayoo’s who are from Surrey, Swindon and Singapore…

      To quote the Stone Roses’ classic…” The past was yours, but the futures’ mine” Get used to it…..

      CTID
      (From Newton Heath, btw)

  3. Sean Keenan says:

    Ps the red marks on the Tevez picture headlining this article were done by Manchester United fans maybe you should change it to one that has not been vandalised…as you can see they have not even conquered Manchester

  4. RayO says:

    Actually I became a fan of Chelsea after watching them play in Pittsburgh…I think Drogba scored his first goal for the Blues here. I don’t know if Man City could sell out the way Chelsea has in the past, but there would be no better time than right after the World Cup.

  5. Hardybarlow says:

    Sean, stop being a tit.

    What is it with you stretford bellends and bloody attendances? I’m sure it comes from times when you won FA and Liverpool were cleaning up (Nowt else to crow about). As you are clearly a boring tool, go and look up Juve attendances…..are they now a small club?

    I’ll agree that our arab connection could be a problem in America, which is a shame. With the amount of arab support for Streford, I suppose this is the reason they avoid pre season trips to America and head for Asia time and again.

    With regards to the Tevez poster…..Taggart wound up, job done. Next.

  6. Richard The Red (Devil) says:

    33 years and counting.

  7. skpd says:

    ESPN2HD aired a lot of Manchester City matches from the EPL in HD this season. Chelsea was also on ESPN2HD pretty often while Manchester United’s first match in HD will be this coming weekend.

    I’ve got to see Manchester City at work a lot because of that and learn they are a team to watch. Their football is pretty free flowing and Bellamy and Tevez are great footballers.

    I, for one, became a fan of The Blues this season and I agree that a little bit of marketing on their part can make them a brand name. The quality is definitelly there, they just need to advertise themselves better (a Champions League spot next season would also help tremenduosly)

  8. Tony says:

    I have to disagree with the article. Will they have the potential to match a Chelsea in the US i doubt it. 1) They aren’t successful maybe that will change this year but 1 year doesn’t make a trend. 2) they will suffer the stigma that has surrounded the reason why Chelsea isn’t embraced more. The fact that they went out and bought a tram and have gobs of money. I find most people are put off by clubs,people etc.. that just buy their way out of a problem or into a problem.

  9. Fan says:

    “A history of playing in the states” maybe, but how will matches from 30-40 years ago have any impact on this summer?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Fan, the soccer fans who supported NASL in the States, I believe, have a soft touch for Manchester City, so City’s hard work in the 70s and early 80s will be remembered by many who line up to buy tickets to see the club play in America this summer (hopefully).

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  10. John says:

    always mentioning MLS eh?

    of course it doesn’t compare – stop being Mr. Obvious.

    But I guess we do need a new MLS basher now that Karthik is gone.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Sorry John, I didn’t realize I was forbidden from mentioning MLS unless I say only positive things about the league. Seriously, I’m a big advocate of MLS, but there are significant advantages that the Premier League and EPL clubs have over MLS even in the United States.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  11. csb059 says:

    Became a football fan and Manchester City fan several years ago when the wife and I ran into two couples from Manchester on vacation. Saw their enthusiasm for the game/team and gave it another shot (American versions of the sport have always been so watered down talent-wise I judged the sport boring to watch in the past). I have been hooked every since. I hope you’re right about this Gaffer.

    Also as fan I don’t care if my team “buys it’s way” to success. Attendance and payroll are irrelevant when talking about fan base and “who’s better”. It’s chanpionship hardware. Who gives a crap that Cubs sellout every game when the Sox won a recent Championship (and this comes from a diehard Cubs fan). Man Utd fans can crow all they want about the silverware they’ve earned and rightfully so, but statements about attendance to matches and “they’re buying their way to the top” are silly and unrelevant.

  12. Eddie says:

    I don’t see why they can’t. However, they have to challenge for European football every year, or at least a string of years. If they add a couple of Americans, they definitely will win over fans here in the states. Has anyone not noticed how popular Fulham is here. I know several people who became man City fans because of Claudio Reyna. The sport still has a lot of growth potential in the US, and there’s no reason to assume clubs outside of the “big 4″ couldn’t become very popular here.

  13. man99utd says:

    I can’t stand City, but they can take advantage of the WC if the play their cards right. I for one am disappointed by United’s refusal to come over more often. So it would be another chance for City to stick it to us. As others have stated without CL play they will not succeed in their American designs. People can say what they like but if the MLS were as good as what some like to think their would be no reason for others to seek quality elsewhere.

  14. OleGunnar20 says:

    you have to be off your rocker?!? first of all Man Utd, followed closely by Chelsea, Liverpud and Aresenal have the most US fans because they have been the most successful clubs since the inception of the Premiership. Everton/Fulham are beloved because of the USMNT players they have. i mean seriously shCity fans, get over yourself. One season fighting for 4th spot and you are jizzing all over yourselves about “being as big as Man Utd”. Come back in a decade with 2-3 Prem titles and at least one CL title and we can talk. In the 18 years of the PL Man Utd hasn’t finished lower than 3rd …. shCity weren’t even in the the PL for 5 of the 18 years! So the blue half of Manchester should take a deep breath, grasp firmly hold of reality and chill the f*ck out with the “we’re going to be as big as Man Utd” nonsense … maybe in a decade or two things might have changed with all of that terrori … uh i mean, oil money but for now breath deeply on your history of complete suckitude.

    • csb059 says:

      Who in the comment thread every stated “we’re going to be as big as Man Utd”? Maybe you “should take a deep breath, grasp firmly hold of reality and chill the f*ck out” and re-read the commentary before you type comments like this OleGunnar.

  15. Angry Trey says:

    You cant just play one match in NYC and expect to build your brand. They would need to do a tour like Chelsea did last summer with stops in multiple cities.

  16. Brian says:

    If any club has embraced the youthful, new American support of football in recent years, it’s Chelsea by far.

    City would have a lot of ground to make up, not only in attracting supporters, but putting together a squad capable of winning and filling it with English-speaking superstars. Who on City is a brand name that speaks good English and is recognized like Terry and Lampard?

  17. BBC says:

    New EPL fan and a City fan

    - Because of Reyna
    -Don’t want to support the top 4
    -As Chicago White Sox fan who is sick of all the tourists that support the team on the North Side, I have empathy for the City supporters
    -They attack
    -Uniforms are pretty

  18. Thomas says:

    Yes City can do it.

    But it will be difficult. The big 4 are generally the most popular clubs in America. Most kids end up picking one of them as their club.

    Had someone come in to work from Derby. We discussed the EPL. He was shocked when I told him I support Everton. Saying I was the first American he had met who didn’t support one of the big 4.

  19. Manchester is Red says:

    add this to the rumour that Manchester United may be touring america this summer and you may have the Manchester derby in our own back yard!!!

    this is how it feels to be citeh,this is how it feels to be small. this is how it feels when your team wins nothing at all…nothing at all. Feck off back to stockport, Manchester is Red!

    • Stu says:

      Wait, no. An American Utd supporter at least 3000 miles away telling City fans to fuck off to a town adjacent to Manchester and telling us what our own city is? This is epic titdom.

      Manchester born, Manchester bred. I was born 2 blocks away from Maine Road, Manchester.
      Not Old Trafford, Salford

  20. wayne norris says:

    are you taking the piss with the alan ball in the list

  21. Tim says:

    Man City is a melting pot, it has many nations on the squad, except America.

  22. mintox says:

    In it’s purest form it’s an attempt by the clubs to sucker in people who have no interest in their club to support them and purchase their merchandise so they can make more money.

    Just because Chelsea and Manchester United toured the US to packed houses doesn’t make it a success. Football fans will come out to watch big games against famous teams, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will convert to supporting them.

    Earlier this year Wolves, Celtic and Fulham toured Australia to very big crowds but I doubt a single person who didn’t already support those clubs, would have begun to support them after that. For many of us who are ex-pats or locals who support other premier league clubs, it was a chance to watch a team from a better league take on some of our local players.

    I would suggest it would be the same in the US. People will come to see how their team goes against local teams. They’re already football fans and will no doubt already have a team that they follow from the Premier League.

  23. SoCalMike says:

    As an American residing just outside Los Angeles, I can tell you that Manchester City has some following here, but nothing on the scale of Manchester United or Chelsea. My son is a big Man United fan, he’s got their gear and memorabilia hanging throughout his room. I was a Chelsea fan, but since Everton has signed Landon I’ve become a big Everton booster.

    Manchester City though is liked, but not as one of the favorite squads. I notice that the soccer fans I’ve spoken to about the EPL, there isn’t much of a strict alliance in many people, as they really aren’t geographically linked to a team for instance. I think Americans like the EPL much like Brits watch NFL football, we like to watch the games but aren’t obsessed with watching a particular team versus just wanting to watch soccer at the highest level.

    That being said, if Manchester City can square up against some good competition they will sell out. AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona from the other European leagues along with the EPL teams that have been names have all done real well, Manchester City should also. There are a lot of expat’s from throughout the world here in the states, that is why these summer tours have succeeded. If Manchester City matches up against the L.A. Galaxy, count me in to attend it…

  24. Husker Blu says:

    OleGunnar20……if you had any clue as to the history behind the two clubs, you would know that manyoo’s dominance to such an extent is a fairly recent thing. For most of the two clubs existance, they were pretty evenly matched, and a couple of times City even eclipsed United as the dominant team. Manyoo relied on City’s generosity at allowing them to play at Maine Road after old trafford was bombed in the war. #
    In those days, many people watched both teams alternate weeks. the Munich disaster gained them much sympathy (that they have shamelessly milked ever since) and national/international support in the aftermath.
    This support, plus some very unscroupulous business deals by the then owners,the Edwards family gained mayoo a financial advantage over most English clubs, bar maybe Liverpool….the formation of the Premier League and cash from deals with Sky, and admittedly very clever marketing enabled manyoo to rise above all others for many years…..until Chelsea got heavily invested in by Abramovich……and as City are now the wealthiest club in the Premier League, and the WORLD, there is certainly every chance they can, IN TIME eclipse manyoo again…..buying success? Yeah, but no different to how manyoo came about it in the first place…!

    Ps, manyoo aren’t even officially IN Manchester…..City are the ONLY team in Manchester….Manc is Blue…..

    CTID

    Newton Heat, Manchester.

  25. dan says:

    go crew
    thats all i got to say

  26. Paul(No1Fan) says:

    I agree, there’s no reason why City can’t take off in the States. Their South American players are also a big draw for fans.

  27. JIm says:

    I have attended every game played by a premier league club in the Los Angeles area in the last 30 years since I moved here from Manchester. Yes, City against the defunct LA Heat and even when the rags played against Chivas at the sold out LA Coliseum (90,000?). What people will pay to see here is a good game with a good atmosphere. We went with a crowd from work of about 20 after I told them about it. The games here are not well publicized but are still well attended. My group consisted of South and Central Americans, Europeans, middle easterners,Asians and a couple of Americans.Typical of a soccer crowd here. I have been a City fan since birth and that will never change. I hope they tour and at least visit LA.

  28. City will have to spend many more millions to achieve success, they probably will attract some big names but will they achieve great things, I’m not so sure, yes they are form Manchster but they are not United

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