Why Games Abroad Will Help Boost the Premier League in North America

Peter GalindoFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2014

Real Madrid plays Manchester United during a Guinness International Champions Cup soccer match at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The English Premier League is exploring the idea of playing a game abroad, per Dan Roan of the BBC. Gary Lineker has since shared the Premier League's rejection of the report. However, it would be beneficial to stage a 39th match outside of England.

The Premier League has large revenues, but that comes with hundreds of millions in losses. A great way to gain some extra profit is to stage matches in the U.S. and Canada.

European clubs travel to North America in the summer to play friendlies in front of thousands of spectators. The marquee tournament during the summer is the Guinness International Champions Cup.

Attendance at the 2014 Champions Cup increased 20 percent from last year. The mecca of it all was when Manchester United faced Real Madrid at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Over 109,000 fans watched the match, shattering a U.S. record.

NBC has also set viewership records with its Premier League coverage. The broadcasts are sleek, professional and informative. It's helped in boosting the brand on the Western Hemisphere. If the product looks good, viewers will be hooked.

As for the in-game experience, the U.S. and Canada are multicultural countries. As a result, there are tons of Premier League fans who wake up at the crack of dawn and watch their clubs in the wee hours of the morning.

If supporters got a chance to watch their club play a meaningful match in their country, they'd gladly pay for tickets, merchandise and other items. Those profits will help the Premier League's growing revenue and popularity overseas.

Some diehard soccer fans have never attended a European game Giving them the opportunity to watch their team play a competitive match in their backyard would be an incredible experience.

The casual soccer supporter always references the atmospheres in stadiums. It isn't the same as Old Trafford or Anfield, but just soaking in a game surrounded by fellow fans would be enough to hook them and transform them into passionate viewers for life.

Premier League advertising has been prominent in major cities like New York.
Premier League advertising has been prominent in major cities like New York.MARK LENNIHAN/Associated Press/Associated Press

Also, the TV networks would advertise the match like crazy. They would make sure that every Premier League fan in North America knew about the game.

That game could attract at least hundreds of thousands of viewers. If marketed properly, the Premier League game in North America could be like the NFL in London. American football continues to surge in popularity across the pond.

Granted, the NFL's end goal is to eventually expand to London and to have a team there. The Premier League won't be undertaking the same task.

The NFL stages regular-season games in London.
The NFL stages regular-season games in London.Tim Ireland/Associated Press/Associated Press

On the other hand, the Premier League could learn a lot from the NFL in that respect. The latter has taken advantage of its viewership overseas and given fans the chance to experience American football.

According to Eric Chemi of Bloomberg Businessweek, the NFL makes about $9.5 billion in annual revenue, which dwarfs the Premier League's by comparison.

However, by just staging one match every year in North America at the end of the season, it would help the Premier League's popularity around the world.

It would also lead to an increase in profits and revenue, which Richard Scudamore and other EPL executives would gladly appreciate.