Tonight I played in an after-work soccer league. The game itself isn’t much to talk about, especially my contributions – which are never much to speak of.
But as I tried to stay warm on the sideline during a cold (for June) driving rain, I had a very interesting conversation that made clear a problem that I always guessed the New England Revolution had, but never saw so obviously.
While chatting with a teammate I mentioned that I was hoping to see Brazilian club side Cruzeiro play the Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
He nodded, knowingly. (Or so I thought.)
Ten seconds or so later, he said something like ”Wait, Cruzeiro, the Brazilian team?”
“Yes.” I replied.
“Really? Here?” He questioned.
“Yup. Against the Revs, at Gillette.” I reminded him.
“Wow. Cool.” He remarked.
And then we went back to watching our team run around, mostly out of position, in a losing effort.
Nothing remarkable, for sure.
But let’s be a little more specific about this situation.
The person I was speaking with? He was ON A soccer field. He was an immigrant from Costa Rica. He was asking me about who I supported in the World Cup. He loved soccer.
His younger brother was also on the team, potentially even a better player – or at least one with flashier ball skills. It was clear to me that these brothers are close and no doubt talk, watch and play soccer together. If one of them didn’t know about a game, neither of them did.
If these brothers aren’t a logical target market for the Revolution, it’s hard to figure out who is. Local. Latin. Soccer fans. Young and employed.
Their knowledge of the visit of a popular South American team’s visit to their local professional team… zero. Nada. Zilch. But I’m guessing this scene could have repeated itself with most Latin guys on most kick-around fields in New England.
It’s one thing for the Revolution’s local target market to know of games (both MLS and international) and not care. That’s not a good situation, but it’s one we can discuss in another post.
But for them not to know at all? That’s a problem.