Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees, Don Garber, MLS commissioner, and Ferran Soriano, Manchester City CEO. Photo: NYCFC/MLS

“You can choose to ignore it, compete against it, or embrace it. The Yankees embracing Man City signals the relevance of soccer in the U.S.”

Paul Swangard, Sports Marketing Director at the University of Oregon

The Yankees and Manchester City, two of the biggest global brands in sports, have formed a partnership to create an MLS soccer team called the New York City FC.

Yankees president Randy Levine said they will build a brand new stadium in Manhattan and begin play in 2015. “We know how to get things done in New York City. Like their late father George, Yankee owners Hal and Hank Steinbrenner are soccer fans. We are all in,” said Levine. 

The Yankees will have a 20-25 percent stake in the team according to an insider familiar with the deal. The 27-time World Series Champions’ involvement in the sport is a signal of MLS’s growth and investment potential.

Manchester City finished second last season behind Champions Manchester United with the latter announcing today they will target the lucrative US market as their next area of expansion and open a New York office later this year.


“Soccer is moving away from being a niche sport and into the territory of competing with some of the top sports in the United States.”

Ed Woodward, Manchester United Executive Vice Chairman


In a $250 million dollar deal, NBC outbid FOX and ESPN for the U.S. TV rights to the Barclays Premier League for the next three seasons. “NBC reported peak viewership for our game against Chelsea last month was the biggest weekday audience since the Olympics,” Woodward said.

NBC has reported viewership growth of 78% (not a typo) above the ESPN and Fox average for the same opening weekend of the Premier League last year. For the first time ever, soccer from the most exciting European league is available to Americans without having to pay for a premium channel subscription.

“We’ve seen research that shows soccer is the second most popular sport to watch on television for 12 to 24 year olds in the United States. In the last three years, the number of people watching Manchester United in the U.S. has gone up by between 30 and 35 percent each year. The US market is under penetrated.”

Ed Woodward

Manchester United’s American billionaire owners, the Glazer family, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expecting to generate in excess of $650 million by this time next year with a significant portion of that revenue coming from commercial ventures in the United States.

chevrolet_manchester_unitedFresh off a ground-breaking seven-year shirt deal with GM set to begin in 2014, Chevrolet will become only the fifth shirt sponsor in the club’s 134 year history. The video below shows Chevy providing all the Man United first team stars with brand new cars of their choice.

The New York Yankees have embraced soccer’s impressive growth figures. Fact is, the MLS is now America’s third most attended sport with higher average attendance than the NBA and NHL. It has been since 2011.

Seattle Sounders FC draws 43,000 fans every single game with the numbers rising by 5-7% each year. That’s higher than every NHL team, twice as high as the most attended NBA team, and higher than every MLB team apart from two. One being the New York Yankees, which sits directly above the Sounders on the attendance list. Wikipedia – Average Attendance US Professional Sports Teams.


Choose to ignore it, embrace it, or compete against it. The Yankees invested in soccer.

Manchester City and Man United are expanding into the American market. NBC and MLS figures show the incredible growth and investment potential.

By combining the world’s most popular sport with the land of opportunity, soccer will no longer be just a niche sport in the US.