While this is typically a technology blog, I wanted to put this up for others to give feedback on and more than anything to finally write it all down. Notice that I did omit the places I have already been like Paris, London, Milan, Torino, Rome, and some others. Feel free to leave comments of where I should go or what is not worth it. Thanks!
I can't see a better move for FIFA than this. The world is already pretty hooked on soccer; let's be honest. Having spent two years on European soil surrounded by Africans, South Americans, and other Europeans, I can vouch for that fact. In terms of business, they've pretty much achieved the maximum level of fandom they can hope to among those people.
America, however, is a different beast. Soccer has been around for just as long here but only enjoys a select small fanbase of hardcore fans. Sure, for the World Cup, some people (myself included) don our soccer scarves and are fans for a month but then interest quickly wanes as the World Cup passes and football season starts. Soccer is soon forgotten. This World Cup however I've seen a much greater interest taken. In one of my classes, more students were paying attention to the USA/Algeria game than listening to the professor. I believe that soccer is on the brink of coming in the limelight among Americans. I don't foresee nor am I predicting that it will surpass football or basketball in terms of popularity, but I can see soccer having a much larger spot in American culture than it currently holds.
What FIFA can do to help the process is award the US a World Cup bid. America now has confidence in its national team and we know we can run with the bad boys of European and South American soccer. Give us a shot on our home turf and we have a legit shot at running a table and winning it all. Can you imagine what this would do for American soccer? Suddenly America realizes that it has a professional soccer league with pretty good teams and starts to put some money into it. Suddenly we're not picking up French wash-ups like Henry into our league but guys like Kaka, Ronaldo, and Rooney into the MLS. People won't be glued to their TVs wondering what LeBron James ate for lunch and interpreting how that applies to what team with which he will sign, but they'll catching the LA Galaxy taking on the defending champs Real Salt Lake in a west-coast showdown. The fanbase will go from the thousands to the millions. Even if we didn't win, the publicity and the opportunities would surely to keep the snowball effect of soccer's popularity rolling.
My other idea to set the people on fire for soccer is to lobby for a MLS spot in the Champion's League. That as well would garner national interest (and money.) That's a bit of a stretch and the MLS has a bit to go before anyone even considers it, but I could see it in the next ten years, especially if we do land a World Cup. Hey, if Romania can have a bid to the Champion's League, I can't see why Real Salt Lake couldn't have a shot.
Attached after the break is a petition to sign to say you would like to see the World Cup in America. You know what to do.