Welcome! Login | Register

2019 NCAA Tournament – How To Set Your March Madness Bracket Around Pac-12 Teams—2019 NCAA Tournament – How To Set Your…

March Madness 2019 – Can The Oregon Ducks Get Back To The Elite Eight?—March Madness 2019 – Can The Oregon Ducks…

I Have 3 Months To Train For The Wild Rogue Relay—I Have 3 Months To Train For The…

20 Ways To Increase Circulation—20 Ways To Increase Circulation

Trail Blazers Weekly Preview – Sabonis 2.0, Dirk’s Rip City Swan Song, Blake Of House Piston Invades—Trail Blazers Weekly Preview – Sabonis 2.0, Dirk’s…

VIDEO: ‘Surf Rock’ Creator Dick Dale Dead at 81—VIDEO: 'Surf Rock' Creator Dick Dale Dead at…

The Presidential Primary Parade Marches On - Sunday Political Brunch March 17, 2019—The Presidential Primary Parade Marches On - Sunday…

Predicting The Seattle Seahawks’ 2019 Draft—Predicting The Seattle Seahawks’ 2019 Draft

49 Killed in Mass Multi-Mosque Shooting in Christchurch, NZ, Shooter Livestreamed Massacre—49 Killed in Mass Multi-Mosque Shooting in Christchurch,…

I’m Ready To Become A Fan Of Hockey In Seattle—I’m Ready To Become A Fan Of Hockey…


Jack Jewsbury: Sorry Hank, MLS Will Be a Major Player

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Jack Jewsbury, plays for the Portland Timbers

Hey Hank, I read your article this week about why soccer will never take off in the US. Were you around last summer? Did you see how Americans embraced the sport like never before? With over 24 million viewers watching the US - Portugal group game, it became the most watched soccer game ever in the United States.  A lot of experts are saying the time is now for MLS to be included in the conversation about the top sports leagues in our country like the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.  

A few examples I witnessed this past month have me convinced that's true. 

I raced off the plane to the nearest airport TV during our layover in Minneapolis on the day of that US-Portugal game. When I found a bar with the match on, it was standing room only, with countless outside gazing through the open windows and the buzz of what one might imagine from the Super Bowl in the last few minutes. And as I walked away from what was a wild game and a result that felt like a loss to Americans everywhere, I couldn't help but have a smile on my face as a fan. 

Packed Portland bars

A fan that later stood in a packed Portland bar watching the round of 16 World Cup game between the US and Belgium. While watching, I overheard a table of 65+ year old couples discussing the ins and outs of a sport you could tell they knew very little about.  Some of the comments were comical – in particular when it came to the offside rule – but one thing was clear: people, regular people, are genuinely taking an interest in our sport for quite possibly the first time in their lives. 

Timbers Army, from their facebook page 

 It’s worth remembering, though, that soccer in the states hasn't been an overnight sensation, or something that came in with this World Cup. MLS started in 1996 and has gone through some tough periods where many asked if the league would last.  But with the building of soccer specific stadiums and increasing the fan experience amongst other things, MLS is now ripe to make the leap we've all been waiting for.

Though many people are still hesitant to give soccer any credit, there is plenty of proof that the popularity is on a steady rise. The average attendance for an MLS match is around 18,600, making it the third highest per-game attendance of any US league - ahead of both NBA and NHL.  The demographic attending games is also a good sign, with the Hispanic community and young people hit hard by soccer fever. So is it realistic to think soccer could surpass the popularity of NBA, MLB or NHL?  Will the momentum gained during the World Cup translate into even better MLS attendances? Better TV ratings? Continued exposure of the sport on ESPN and other major networks? 

Anything but over 

I think so and remember this - the World Cup tournament may be over, but American soccer is anything but. Sure, some complain that the standard of MLS is below that of other countries’ soccer leagues, but remember that this summer, it was represented by 22 players and ranked ninth in the world. Then there was the time our all-star team beat Bayern Munich right here in Portland. Let's face it, our league just keeps getting better and is attracting world class players. And as the increased support continues for MLS so does the exposure, the money attached to it, and therefore the quality of players clubs are able to bring in. 

So to those of you who became soccer fans this summer during the World Cup, don’t let the new habit die. Give the sport a real chance by attending an MLS game for a taste the type of unique stadium experience that differs from any other sport in this country. And to longstanding MLS supporters – thank you. Now grab your friend, neighbor or family member and bring them to the next match. We’ve put American soccer on the world map: Now let’s put it on the national map too. 

Jack Jewsbury plays for the Portland Timbers.


Related Slideshow: The Best Wieden + Kennedy Ads for Nike

Take a look at a swarth of Nike ads created by Wieden and Kennedy throughout the years.

From claymation to technology to the the ultimate child prodigee - Wieden has done it all to help create and reinvent the Nike brand.

Prev Next

Baby Tiger

This W+K ad took the legacy, skill and training of young Tiger Woods all the way to the links in Scotland and the British Open.


Prev Next

Nike Evolution

The early Nike ads  were maybe not the most creative by today's creative standards, but the brilliance of the Nike Evolution ad was that it made a sneaker a piece of technology. It may be the first time that a sports product was sold with the idea that an athlete could gain an advantage through apparel or footwear.


Prev Next

Just Do It

The first time the iconic tagline, "Just Do it" was ever used in a Nike ad was in 1988. It was not Michael Jordan, but a guy named Walt Stack - take a look.


Prev Next


Mars Blackmon made Spike Lee, elevated Michael Jordan's cred, made millions for Nike and thrust W+K into the first class designation as a global ad agency.


Prev Next


Before Tiger there was no Nike Golf. This ad was the foundation to the development of the product line. Tiger was a different golfer: He was the first athlete in the game, strong and brilliant. No golfer ever looked so cool.


Prev Next


Michael Jordan may be the greatest basketball player ever. But what made him a marketing superstar was the Air Jordan positioning - the sub brand created by Wieden + Kennedy.


Prev Next


Bo knows. Bo Jackson may have been the greatest athlete of all time, but no one would have known if it were not for the amazing creative developed by Wieden + Kennedy for Nike. Bo knows and we know Bo.


Prev Next

Lil Penny

Lil Penny was in part the brainchild of creative Stacy Wall at W+K and rolled out Chris Rock as the alter ego to Orlando Magic guard Penny Hardaway. 

Claymation never played so well as the moment when Lil Penny hit on Tyra Banks.



Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox