James Rodriguez Joins Everton
Cody Kuiper

James Rodriguez’s Arrival Lifts Everton’s Profile in the U.S.

James Rodriguez’s transfer from Real Madrid to Everton made waves in the Premier League, but the Colombian superstar’s arrival has boosted the Toffees’ popularity stateside, too. 

Having secured the Champions League-winner from Real Madrid on a reportedly free transfer, Everton immediately looked to capitalize the off-the-field benefits that came with it: his popularity in the U.S., particularly among Hispanic and Latino fans.

Everton capitalize on James’ popularity among Hispanics

Rodriguez is among the most popular Hispanic soccer players in the world, having amassed nearly 96 million followers across social media – the eighth-highest among all athletes. That sort of popularity could help turn the heads of an American fandom that’s made up of many Spanish-speaking fans. Although just about 16 percent of the country’s population is Hispanic and Latino, Spanish-language broadcasters TUDN and Univision accounted for 50 percent of all soccer viewership in the U.S. last year. 

That’s why it should come as no surprise that Everton took to Miami to promote its talismanic signing. The club placed a digital boat display of Rodriguez that took a trip through Miami Beach and South Beach, attracting attention from Labor Day beach-goers. Focusing on Miami is a no-brainer, with almost 115,000 Colombian-Americans living in Miami-Dade County alone (per the 2010 U.S. Census). The 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot-winner was also plastered across Times Square in the heart of New York City. 

Everton takes big steps in attracting American fans

The choices of Miami and the Big Apple signal the club’s emphasis on its marketing efforts in the U.S., given that the only other locations to feature physical promotion of the signing were Liverpool and Bogota, the capital of Colombia. It’s also underscored by Everton’s recently announced plans to open an office stateside, which will house marketing and sales staff and be located in either Florida or California. 

Everton’s goal will certainly be to close the ground on its Premier League rivals in the U.S. who have scooped up a large portion of fans in the country. A look at the potential Facebook advertising reach of Premier League clubs shows that Everton trail Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham by significant margins. 

But the signing of James has immediately elevated the Toffees’ profile among Americans. Google Trends estimates that searches and interest in the club was almost the highest it’s been at any point in the last five years. Similarly, searches for James more than doubled in the U.S. in the week that he signed for Everton, with interest being the highest in Florida. 

If they’re going to join the heavy hitters in the U.S., James Rodriguez might be the perfect catalyst.

Categories: Premier League