As a researcher, it has always been a hobby of mine to study human behavior and analyze the differences in how we consume then react to media, information, and current events. By analyzing how an individual behaves, you are (in theory) able to predict their future actions. Businesses do this frequently. Understand your consumer and their behavior, then tailor your business to satisfy their future needs. Business 101.
While browsing through echelons of the “Babble” feature on an online dating website, I came across an interesting discussion under the category of World Cup Soccer. I was puzzled to see how popular this category had become as it is no secret that many Americans openly dislike soccer and refuse to acknowledge its existence. These Americans are content living in a world dominated Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey, and how can you blame them? American sports is a $70-Billion dollar business and that is plenty to feed even the largest sports appetite.
Before writing this article I asked a male friend of mine his view on Soccer and the World Cup. He said, “Soccer is for Sissies, but I’ll watch the World Cup.” Professionally, I was interested. Personally, I was confused. Why were people “Babble-ing” about the World Cup through an online dating website? What was their motivation? What were they saying?…and why does my friend want to watch a bunch of “sissies” playing soccer?!?
Intrigued, I read the online dating World Cup Babble thread and was able to gain some quick and dirty insight on how Americans are consuming the FIFA World Cup 2010. Here are my observations:
Women: Women in America have a unique view when it comes to soccer. They have a genuine interest in the game and appear to understand what is going on better than many American males. While women are not able to tell you how many shots on goal Team USA had against England (12 shots, 4 on target), or why the 2-2- tie with Slovenia was an excellent result (USA advances with a win vs. Algeria), they are able to tell you that Landon Donovan is a family man and married, Clint Dempsey likes to Rap and is from Texas, and that David Beckham is a metro sexual and “hot.” Women are not soccer fans, they are fans of soccer players.
Men: Ignorant at best and patriotic at heart – a worthy combination. My friend who thinks “soccer is for sissies” is a Texas Male. They do not understand soccer, they do not love the sport, and they do not understand the magnitude or impact the World Cup has on the human race. Men however understand what it means to have die-hard passion, they are patriotic to the bone, and they understand sport, skill and strategy. Men are sports fans, not a soccer fans.
The American Foreigner: Knowledgeable, passionate, but tactful. The American foreigner understands the World Cup is the largest sporting event on the planet and as individuals they embody the passion that is the FIFA World Cup 2010. These are the people who request to take vacation day from work, but negotiate to use that day in 2 hour increments so they can watch the games on TV. While they understand the sport, they also realize the “commoners” around them do not. The American foreigner willingly educates their friends about the “beautiful game” and attempts to grow the love of Soccer throughout their social community. They do not lecture, they are tactful and teach through guided discussion, humor and debate. The American foreigner has been conditioned to be an advocate for soccer, but not a promoter. There are few better times in an American Foreigners life than watching a soccer game by themselves in a room with the volume on high. It is done in private, and alone.
Conclusion: America is clueless about soccer, but they do not want to be. They understand the World Cup is a big event, but they do not understand why. Americans post on Babble because posting in the Babble community and reading feedback is like gluing little puzzle pieces onto a wall. One posting = one piece of the puzzle. Every person who posts on the World Cup topic had a different perspective than the other and the beauty of this is the sum of all the parts creates a whole. A completed puzzle leads to a heightened and comprehensive understanding. Between the American foreigner, the female follower, and the patriot male, there is a World Cup Soccer fan base on this online dating website that understands Soccer and everything that is the FIFA World Cup 2010.
Specific to online dating, most interesting part of the Babble was when one member suggested everybody who was a soccer fan meet up at a local soccer event. How great would that be? To have a group of clueless singles meet and bond over an event that together they can understand and enjoy to the fullest. Alone, they are confused. Together, they learn and enjoy. This viral action is online dating magic! THIS my friends is how you find your Perfect Match through the 월드컵토토, and why these people posted their views on an online dating website…Genius!