Manchester United chairman Ed Woodward hails potential of US market

 
Joe Hall
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Ed Woodward has his eyes on the American market (Source: Getty)

Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward believes the club are in a strong position to capitalise on the growing popularity of football in the US.

During their pre-season tour of the country this summer, United set a new national attendance record for a sporting event, attracting 109,310 to their friendly against Real Madrid at Michigan Stadium.

Speaking on an earnings call following the release of the United's latest financial results, Woodward highlighted NBC's record US audience of 31.5m viewers for Premier League football last season, more than double the combined audience who watched the 2012-13 campaign on ESPN, ESPN 2 and Fox Sports.

Furthermore, Woodward said United were the most watched club in the US despite their poor season - a fact he claimed was indicative of a big Red Devils contingent across the pond.

Woodward said:

We seem to be in the midst of a step change of football breaking into the US.

We have a very strong brand in the US and as the sport continues to grow in popularity, we are in a good position to benefit.

The man who negotiated Manchester United's mega spending spree this summer also pointed to the fact that the 2014 World Cup was the most widely streamed sporting event in US history, with 120m viewing hours doubling figures for the 2012 Olympics.

United announced a record revenue of £433.2m for the 2013-2014 season this morning. Commercial revenue rose 24.1 per cent to £189.3m, with the club citing the pre-season tour of America as a contributing factor.

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