For the first time, MLS streamed the Generation Adidas Cup – an elite, U.S.-based tournament for global academies – on Twitch. The OTT streaming platform, known primarily for its connection to the gaming and esports community, used this event as an opportunity to develop and grow an active community through interactive viewing and increase attention on its sports offerings. The deal to stream all 66 games of the youth tournament comes on the heels of MLS successfully streaming several eMLS tournaments over the past year.
Two teams. Only one 🏆.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
Twitch has long been a bastion of escape for people looking to consume gaming content en masse. According to Twitch, over 70 percent of Millennials have played a video game in the past 60 days. Millennials account for roughly 71 million people in the U.S., meaning 50 million people aged 18-34 recently played a video game. Twitch also has 15 million unique visitors a day who watch, on average, 95 minutes (or roughly the length of a soccer game) of content.
The @SoundersFC boys are rolling. 📶
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 18, 2019
Those are all staggering numbers. If you’re MLS, your eyes grow large at the opportunity to further expose your brand to people who, large part, already represent your core fan demographics. MLS fans and American soccer fans in general are young, tech-savvy, and hungry for content at their fingertips. At several times during the Generation Adidas Cup’s 66 streamed games, the MLS Twitch channel was the most-watched channel on all of Twitch, as this Reddit user pointed out. Move over, Ninja, there’s new kids in town.
With Twitch increasing its sports offering, like Stadium’s 24/7 content channel, look for MLS, a forward-thinking and innovative league, to continue looking to the platform to grow its base of fans not just for now, but for the future.