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5 Reasons Why Fulham Can Conquer America

This entry is in response to an article I read in February on EPL Talk. The article was entitled 5 Reasons Why Manchester City Can Conquer America. The Gaffer discussed Manchester City’s upcoming preseason tour of the United States. The writer mentions this could be an opportunity for Manchester City to become popular in the U.S. He then breaks down the 5 reasons why Manchester City can conquer America.

Below are the 5 Reasons why I think Fulham can conquer America republished here:

  1. Americans love a great manager of a club. In American football, baseball, basketball and hockey the manager or coach is under the microscope of the fans of their teams. For example I will use Bill Belichick the Head Coach of the New England Patriots. In my opinion he might be the greatest coach in NFL history. He is constantly under scrutiny and is a polarizing figure. Belichick though is a 3 time Super Bowl champion ,who whether “you like him or hate him” has the respect of the media and the fans as a great head coach. As a fan I know the Patriots are always going to be well prepared and be put in the best situation to win. Roy Hodgson has put his club in the best position to win every week. As a fan their is not more than you can ask from your manager. I think Americans would be intrigued by Hodgson’s history with the team and how he dug them out of possibly being relegated in 2007 – 2008 season. They will also appreciate how he started to rebuild Fulham on defense. Americans love a team that plays strong defense in any sport I would argue. It is a major key to victory. What also makes Hodgson appealing is his personality. In interviews and during games the man seems under control and confident. Roy would be a huge hit in America.
  2. Fielding a strong international squad. As stated in the EPLtalk.com article America is a melting pot of many nations. What is great about Fulham is that the team like the EPL in general have an international makeup to its squad. The strikers are Bobby Zamora fom England and David Elm from Sweden. In the midfield you have Damien Duff from Ireland, Danny Murphy from England, Clint Dempsey from the United States, and Dickson Etuhu from Nigeria. In the back on defense you have Chris Baird from Northern Ireland, John Pantsil from Ghana, Brede Hangeland from Norway, and Aaron Hughes from Northern Ireland. Finally you have Mark Schwarzer in goal from Australia. Americans tend to be attracted to players they can relate to. The makeup of this team has someone for every fan.
  3. Americans love to get behind the underdog. I think Americans like to get behind a team that doesn’t have all the money in the world to spend on players. I think Americans are attracted to teams that have a strong work ethic and have to try harder to work with what they have. A team like Fulham reminds me of the 2001 New England Patriots. They did not have the most talent, but they played together as a team. Another team I would compare them to is the Minnesota Twins in baseball. This team does not have a huge payroll, but year after year they field a team that contends for their division. I think Fulham can be a team that contends for a Europa League spot consistently each year. They are not going to be a Champions League Team. I know if Americans watched Fulham beat Manchester United earlier this year they would be hooked on this team. The underdog beat one of the best teams in the world. Americans definitely would be behind a team like Fulham.
  4. An American Player on the team and a past that has had several Americans on the squad. This goes back to the melting pot theory. Americans can relate to a team that has one of their own on it. Clint Dempsey is a very good player for Fulham. He is I would say a star on the U.S. World Cup Team. As we go into the summer many Americans will be watching the World Cup. Since Clint Dempsey plays for Fulham it will give fans a chance to see a prominent Fulham player. This could very well attract new fans to the club.
  5. Fulham selected Fenway Sports Group as exclusive North American Agency. The Fenway Sports Group I have written a few months back about. This sports marketing agency could be a huge help with the growth of Fulham. Their main responsibility is finding corporate sponsorships including on the jersey for the 2010 – 2011 season. This organization is closely affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have to be considered one of the best marketers of there brand in American Sports. This marketing has helped the Red Sox funnel money to pay for players. There is no question that marketing has had a huge positive effect on the Boston Red Sox. The result is they have won 2 World Series titles in the last 6 years. I think this firm could potentially help market Fulham better and build its brand. This could help the team have more money to spend on players.

I think these are 5 very good reasons why Fulham could become a favorite in the United States. I do think at some point they need to plan a summer preseason trip to America again. Seeing the team in person would definitely help build fan interest as well. They did come several years ago for a summer trip.

Maybe you don’t think it is important for a team to breakthrough in America? I certainly can see that. If you are a fan of Fulham you want to see them compete every year in the EPL. The more fans of the team can mean more money which can be used to upgrade the team. I am of the mindset the more fans the better wherever they come from.

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23 Responses to 5 Reasons Why Fulham Can Conquer America

  1. mw828 says:

    reasons 3-5 yes, 1-2 not so much. mainly just having an american. adding another would be a boost too. there best chance to get popularity in the US in the near future is for dempsey to have a great WC and draw fans over.

  2. CTBlues says:

    When I first started watching the EPL I almost started to root for Fulham becuase of the amount of American players they had on the team, but the team played like crap and one thing American’s like more than rooting for underdogs and that is winning or at least underdogs that win. I guess I had some bad timing because I started watching the EPL in 2007.

    • Russ Goldman says:

      You might want to check them out now. They are certainly not that team from 2007 season anymore.

      They are a fun team to follow and watch.

      • CTBlues says:

        Sorry not a chance I’m Chelsea blue!

        • David says:

          So instead of finding an underdog that wins you chose Chelsea? And the 07-08 season was a great example of why Americans would love Fulham. They struggled throughout the majority of the season, and then the AMERICAN HEREO McBride came back from injury and helped rescue Fulham in the last 5-6 games of the season along with Dempsey (who scored the goal that guaranteed their top flight status the year before), Keller, Bocanegra and even Johnson for a minute.

          You’re argument followed by your favorite club don’t add up. I don’t care who you support because it’s just great that fans follow the sport in general, but sounds like a bandwagon glory hunter if I’ve ever heard one!

          • CTBlues says:

            I guess I could be considered a glory hunter but I was watching Chelsea at the same time and they were way more exciting to me since they were battleing ManU for the title and going through the Champions League and played ManU in the final in 2007/08. I also go through enough heartache every year when the Jets loss in the playoffs or don’t make it to the playoffs, but that is also countered by being a Yankees fan.

  3. maw4bc says:

    What channel on Directv is the fulham game on today?

  4. Russ Goldman says:

    I read in the comments section on hammyend.com that the game is on channel 461

  5. Fulham Dave says:

    It is Channel 461. And it is being shown in HD.

    Great points – I enjoyed the article. I guess I’d add that it is tough: Fulham’s never going to be a Top 4, and probably unlikely to be Top 7 again, especially if Hodgson moves on to the England job if Capello steps down. We’re thin, do not have a financial structure that can support players with much more flair or international stature, and rely on system and the sum of the parts over individuals.

    I’d add just one more positive point, however – the charm of Craven Cottage and the wonderful experience of attending a game there is a huge positive to Americans who might have the opportunity to visit London. It is an advantage over a Wigan, Sunderland, Birmingham or even Everton.

    COME ON YOU WHITES!!

  6. Russ Goldman says:

    Dave,

    I am glad you enjoyed the article.

    I should have added Craven Cottage. Living in Massachusetts Fenway Park certainly draws people to the Red Sox.

  7. Russ Goldman says:

    CTBlues,

    Good luck next year with the Jets. It should be a fun year.

    I am a diehard Pats Fan. I have nothing against Jets fans. In fact, I respect
    them for being loyal fans.

    Again Good Luck

    Russ
    I

    • CTBlues says:

      Well Russ you are a better man than I because I hate the Pats with all my being. The primary reason being how Kraft totally screwed the state of Connecticut and my hatred of anything Boston. It is going to be fun playing you guys the Monday Night after we both have Thanksgiving games.

  8. Russ Goldman says:

    Listen the Krafts used Connecticut. I think it was a crappy thing to do. I wouldn’t blame the whole state for being mad at them for that.

    Good Luck this year.

    Russ

  9. Eious says:

    Until they win Premier League Titles and Champion League Titles, Fulham has zero chance of winning over America

    The #1 thing Americans want is popularity and winning….period

    Hence Chelsea/United by far having the most fans in the US

  10. Devils Advocate says:

    Eious..I disagree with your assertion that Fulham have no chance of winning over football neutrals in America. Russ has argued his case well with salient points. There is no doubt that Fulham now possess a “winners mentality” under the astute guidance of Roy Hodgson. Their ascendancy from the bowels of the Premiership is the stuff movies are made of and very much in the spirit of the American Dream.

    I make this statement knowing the workings of the Premiership and how clubs lower down this league have to work twice as hard to obtain/retain quality professionals. Fulham are a small club compared to the likes of Man Utd., Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. Yet this season they prevailed!

    I believe supporters can and do appreciate a team making the most of their resources, which Fulham certainly do. They may never achieve the status of Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs or Liverpool but they do represent the essence of the EPL, with its history, romance and never say die spirit. Remember, your countrymen have played a great part in the story and I know fans will follow players they can identify with.

    Now that Fulham have a real opportunity to become Europa League Champions, coupled with a timely visit to your shores, I see no reason why they will not attract supporters who can identify with their story.

  11. ben says:

    All of these things are spot on. I am American and I love Fulham and watch most of there games streaming online. My brother married a brit and began supporting Fulham for many of those reasons. Though I don’t really like Dempsey that much I think he is way to inconsistent though he has been very clutch which I do like.

  12. cara says:

    i love fulham. i’m american living in ireland. and i actually think fulham are a great team. i started watching them because i grew up watching loving mcbride at columbus crew. there’s only one player that i wish they had. and who i think would skyrocket their popularity in the US and that’s Landon Donovan. He did brilliantly at Everton and I’d love to see him at Fulham. I think between him and Dempsey, they could make top 7 again!

  13. Russ says:

    Cara,

    I am right there with you regarding Landon Donovan. He would be great at Fulham. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.

    However, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jozy Altidore end up Fulham. I know he is on loan at Hull from a Spanish club.

  14. cara says:

    Russ,

    It probably won’t happen with Donovan – you’re right. I think if he were to come to England he’d go back to Everton. At least initially. The supporters up there loved him. Altidore could be good. Fulham need a striker anyway. I want to see he’s on loan from Villareal. Not sure.

  15. Russ says:

    Cara,

    Villarreal let him go out on loan to Hull City for the season. Hull has the option to buy him, but I doubt they will considering they are being relegated.

    I don’t know if it is possible. He is just a player I would like to see at Craven Cottage.

  16. cara says:

    Russ,

    I completely agree with you. I don’t think they’ll be able to buy him due to their relegation. I still want McBride to come back :(

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