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How football and Formula 1 are winning American fans (VIDEO)

Newsy In The Loop: Scoreboard takes a look at the business side of the sport. Today, we will delve into how some sports have increased their fan bases.

The landscape for sports fans is wider than ever – both because there are more ways to watch, thanks to streaming options, and because more sports are available.

But while some sports thrive in this environment, others struggle to adapt — even sports that have long been a mainstay of American culture.

The sports interests of young sports fans can be very different from those of older fans. Sports such as football, esports, and Formula 1 racing have grown significantly in the US, driven largely by interest from Millennials and Generation Z.

As the Internet, new technologies and globalization unite the world, more and more Americans are becoming fans of international sports.

Roxanne Koche is a communications professor at the University of Florida who has explored both sides of the international sports divide, both in her native France and in the United States.

“We are approaching a point where this generation has grown up with the ability to speak their mind and be who they really are, perhaps more so than any other generation before,” Koche said. “And that’s why I think so, as well as being able to have access to niche environments, in this case niche sports, but niche anything thanks to the power of the internet.”

Let’s start with the huge rise in popularity of Formula 1 racing in the US. The international car racing series has found hundreds of millions of fans around the world, and despite decades of efforts to race in the US, it has not been able to compete with the attention in the states that American racing series like NASCAR or Indy Car have received.

But F1 has taken a different approach with Formula 1: Drive to Survive, a behind-the-scenes documentary series released on Netflix that tracks every driver and the staff of every racing team.

Now it’s a hit with American fans. The first Miami Grand Prix, held in May, sold out 240,000 fans in three days in the Sunshine State, and a poll tracking the recent surge in F1 fandom links it to the Netflix series. A Morning Consult survey released in March found that more than a third of fans aged 18 to 34 in the US became fans in the last year alone, and that more than half of all Formula One fans said the Netflix series was the cause of their fandom.

To some extent, the behind-the-scenes docudrama’s success in sparking new interest in the sport shouldn’t come as a surprise. Ohio State economics professor Trevon Logan, who has spent many years researching the economics of sports, shared why.

“A lot of what we’re consuming in this is actually connected to these narratives that have some sort of mythologies attached to them,” Logan said. “So you have these great, great stories, and then on an individual level, you need these compelling stories about people.”

This is also available. The documentary series is available on Netflix and the races are streamed on ESPN and their streaming services.

More established leagues have also tried their hand at streaming their games.

This season, MLB is experimenting with new methods for broadcasting games on Apple TV, including adding more live statistics, and NFL fans might be a little shocked when they try to find games that will play on Thursday nights this year. They’ll be on Amazon Prime for the next decade+.

As more and more people cut the cord and don’t rely on cable television, leagues may have to look for other sources of money and other places for fans, according to University of Southern Utah professor and sports economics expert David Berry.

“They go where the audience goes, so if the audience leaves traditional cable TV or traditional networks and moves to streaming services, then the leagues will follow where that audience goes,” Berry said. “The great thing about sports is that it differs from a television program in that you have to watch a live sporting event for it to mean something to you.”

But while F1 has seen a lot of growth, the sport that arguably made the biggest leap into the US mainstream was the one the rest of the world loves the most: football.

Accessibility also played a role, as American channels paid for the rights to broadcast events such as the World Cup and European football leagues and placed them on television and streaming platforms.

The game known worldwide as football has long struggled to catch on in the US, but polls show it is now the fourth most played sport in the US after hockey.

A fan analysis by football marketing firm Gilt Edge found that nearly 70% of football fans in the US are under 40, and that’s definitely a more diverse crowd as immigrants or children of immigrants from football-obsessed countries bring their love of football. US game

“I started to see a lot of overlaps with immigration history, with my own upbringing as the son of Mexican immigrants and a deep love for sports and Mexico and other Latin American countries,” said Ulises Pina, assistant professor of history at California State University, Long Beach.

Pina told Newsy that while studying the growth of football in the US, and especially in Southern California, he has seen two Los Angeles teams in Major League Soccer improve their efforts to attract Hispanic fans.

“A few years after the founding of the league, especially when Major League Soccer began to experience financial turmoil… I started thinking about new ways to generate income, and one of those ways was to cater to the existing fan base, which is predominantly Hispanic,” Pina said.

Domestically, there has been an increase in play across various demographics: the US women’s national team has won the last two women’s World Cups, the men’s national team has improved, and men’s and women’s professional leagues such as the MLS and NWSL have grown.

MLS has expanded dramatically over the past 20 years, nearly tripling from 10 teams in 2002 to 28 teams this year, with a 29th team to join in 2023. New club Angel City played their first match last month before a full house.

But even overseas clubs have attracted their share of diehard fans here, and American fans can often be seen crowding bars across the US on mornings and weekend afternoons to show their love for overseas football clubs.

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