Soccer is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with data showing that American interest in the sport is making progress in reaching the average interest level found globally. The report, called “Fanarchy26,” was released by Sports Innovation Lab, a fan intelligence company, and Jung von Matt SPORTS, an award-winning European creative agency.
It provides benchmark statistics of behaviors exhibited by U.S.-based soccer fans in advance of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, which is scheduled to be hosted throughout the United States. The report merges data with creativity, utilizing artificial intelligence-generated images to support its data story throughout.
Amongst the key findings from Fanarchy26:
TOTAL FANS – Roughly one quarter (27%) of United States-based sports fans (83M) show an interest in soccer, compared to a global average of 40%. American football is the most popular sport (52%), with basketball (43%) and baseball (37%) further behind. Meanwhile, 76% of U.S.-based soccer fans say they became fans when they were children, proving leagues need to continuously prioritize youth demographics for growth. California is home to the most soccer fans in the U.S., while Texas ranks second.
SPENDING – U.S. sports fans who purchase from soccer merchants spend more on average per fan, per year than fans of baseball, basketball, or football. Every 14 out of 1,000 Americans have spent, or are spending on soccer. 72% of U.S.-based soccer fans will purchase a ticket and attend a match at least once per season, and 71% spend on soccer-related merchandise yearly. Jerseys are the most popular item (65%).
PASSION – On a scale of 0-5 measuring passion, where 5 is the most passionate, U.S.-based soccer fans average 3.32.
WATCHING – Roughly 79% of U.S.-based soccer fans watch at least 1 match per year at a bar or restaurant with other fans. Approximately 77% pay for a streaming service to watch an average of 2-3 matches per week. The majority of fans (57%) watch more than 2 matches per week at home on television or via live stream on another device.
FAVORITE LEAGUE – Based on the survey data, Fanarchy26 finds that amongst English or Spanish-speaking soccer fans in the U.S. – the MLS (44%) is the most-followed soccer league in the U.S., followed by the EPL (39%), USL (36%), La Liga (30%), and NWSL (28%). Spanish-speaking fans in the U.S. specifically follow La Liga (59%) more than any other league.
The report serves as a commercial and cultural guide for brands, leagues, and clubs on how to participate in the rise of the U.S. soccer market. In addition, Fanarchy26 introduces five personas that can be leveraged to activate soccer fans in the U.S. This information can answer questions such as:
Why might a U.S.-based fan choose to support Angel City FC or Juventus? Which soccer stars do Americans care about, and how did they find them?
“Potential” is the keyword that has defined the relationship between the United States and soccer for decades,” said Angela Ruggiero, Co-founder and CEO of Sports Innovation Lab. “However, an actualized rise in national interest on the back of the growing popularity of the NWSL, in combination with hosting the 2026 men’s World Cup, has created a rare opportunity for the U.S. sports ecosystem to co-create an idealized soccer fan culture.
Moreover, with the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup scheduled to be hosted throughout the United States, the U.S. soccer market is set to grow even more. Fanarchy26 offers a commercial and cultural guide for brands, leagues, and clubs on how to participate in the rise of the U.S. soccer market. The report also introduces five personas that can be leveraged to activate soccer fans in the U.S. This information can answer important questions such as why a U.S.-based fan would choose to support and which soccer stars Americans care about and how they found them.
In conclusion, the Fanarchy26 report presents exciting opportunities for brands, media companies, technology providers, and organizations looking to tap into the growing U.S. soccer market. With more than 83 million American sports fans showing an interest in soccer and spending more on average per fan, per year than fans of baseball, basketball, or football, this market is on the rise. Moreover, with the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup scheduled to be hosted throughout the United States, the U.S. soccer market is poised for even greater growth in the coming years.
As the world’s greatest sport, soccer has the potential to bring together people from all walks of life and provide a shared sense of passion and community. With the U.S. soccer market on the rise, now is the time for brands, media companies, and organizations to get involved and help shape the future of soccer in America. By understanding the nuances of the United States soccer marketplace and leveraging the insights provided by Fanarchy26, companies and organizations can participate in the co-creation of an idealized soccer fan culture and tap into a growing market that represents the future of soccer commerce globally.
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