If I were to draw a Venn diagram of sports fans who like soccer and sports fans that like NASCAR, despite not seeing any numbers, I feel fairly safe in guessing that there wouldn’t be much overlap between their circles. I’d also imagine that overlap gets even smaller when you narrow down the soccer fans to “fans of women’s soccer”. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that US women’s national team star and former FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Abby Wambach, was waving the green flag to kick off the 2015 running NASCAR’s Superbowl of Racing, the Daytona 500. Here’s video of Abby waving that flag way better than Nadine Kessler ever could.
Then I remembered that FOX now owns the broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cups starting with next summer’s Women’s World Cup — practically for the next thousand years, or at least that’s how it feels — and what better way than to try to win converts for the beautiful game than to push it to the estimated 9-10 million Daytona 500 viewers. And even though there wouldn’t appear to be much shared interest between the two sports, if there’s ground to be made in growing the next World Cup’s viewership, it’s probably in the NASCAR corner of the market.
It’s still weird though.