July 14, 2014, 10:47 AM

World Cup kicks up U.S. soccer-related online shopping 280%

U.S. online consumers shopped for soccer-related products much more during the month-long tournament than in the months leading up to the event, says a report from site-search vendor SLI Systems.

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup scored big interest in soccer among U.S. consumers, according to a study by SLI Systems. Soccer-related searches doubled during the World Cup compared to the months leading up to the World Cup (January to April), on eight large sporting goods and apparel retail sites.

“Soccer is played year-round in the U.S., but recreational soccer gear tends to be purchased before fall and spring seasons,” says Tim Callan, chief marketing officer at SLI Systems. “We found a boost in online shopping behavior during June for products ranging from soccer cleats, balls, shin guards, gloves and other equipment, demonstrating the country’s increased interest in actually playing the sport. It is clear that the World Cup U.S. fanfare will continue long after Sunday’s final game.”

In the month of June alone, U.S. soccer-related searches increased 280% compared with the previous month. There were 2.2 million soccer-related searches made from March until the June 12 start of the tournament.

“2.2 million is about twice the amount of searches you would normally expect in that time period,” Callan says. The peak day for soccer-related online searches was June 16. That was the day the U.S. played Ghana in a World Cup game that amassed 15.9 million viewers worldwide, according to Nielsen Co., a company that measures TV viewers.

“Compared to the baseline number of soccer-related searches in 2014, the peak day was about four times the size of a typical U.S. shopping day,” Callan says.

The most popular search terms for the U.S. were soccer, USA soccer, FIFA and Nike Soccer.

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