The world has arrived in Brasil and it seems that everyone is watching the 2014 World Cup. According to a study by Adobe, the 2014 games will surpass the Olympics and the Superbowl in social media mentions. Admittedly, the United States as a whole may be a late bloomer when it comes to the football fanaticism that is found in the rest of the world, but the momentum here is in full swing. In my neighborhood alone, I've counted no less than 10 spots in a 3 block radius where you can watch the games. As someone who has never really been into sports, I find the World Cup to be an exciting introduction to something that is an obsession for the rest of the world. It stirs a common thread of passion and camaraderie among fans. No matter where you are in the world, you are guaranteed to find someone with whom you connect with if you simply bring up the subject of football.
Perhaps the US has too many competing sports for football to hold the same level of infatuation as American football or baseball, but my prediction is that change is coming. A huge number of children in the US play football recreationally and as the MLS matures in age (it's only been around since 1996) and big name stars such as David Beckham and Thierry Henry continue to bring a spotlight to the sport, my belief is that the fans will continue to come. ESPN and Fox Soccer broadcast more games now than ever, making world class matches and teams easily accessible to the US market.
So if this is your first introduction to the game or if you are a hard-core fan, as the games continue over the next few week, try to remember why the World Cup is so exciting. It's because of the passion, the variety of footballing styles and the athleticism of the players. And more than any other sporting event in the world, it connects the whole world. Similarly, that's what Etsy does - it is a platform that connects us to our passions, across a variety of different styles, substances and continents.
Viva futbol! Next stop Russia...