Digiday: Bleacher Report charges ahead with growing soccer ambitions

Excerpt: “Soccer now rivals baseball in popularity among Americans and appeals more to young viewers than those over 55. And as they’re doing with other forms of media, millennials are disrupting the tradition of watching full games in front of the TV set as they watch highlights online, share memes and stream games online (often without paying, it should be said).

That provides an opening for a publisher like Bleacher Report, which was born online and built its business around an ability to find audiences on social media. Soccer fandom is also as much about off-field activity as game action, as the players are stars in their own right. Bleacher Report believes it’s well-positioned to capitalize on that, too, because it’s rooted in the intersection of sports and culture.

Soccer is a passion that attracts a young and diverse audience that’s extremely attractive to marketers, said Brian Millman, account director and partner at Mindshare North America’s Spotlight, the dedicated sports and entertainment partnerships unit of Mindshare. Converting soccer fans during major events to everyday viewers afterward has always been challenging for the sport overall, though, which is where Bleacher Report’s lifestyle approach could give it an advantage.”

Read the full piece in Digiday.