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Home / Latest News / Cardiff and Swansea reach out to US football fans thanks to massive NBC deal
Cardiff Taxi in New York

Cardiff and Swansea reach out to US football fans thanks to massive NBC deal

Wales’ Premier League duo have inspired a loyal following beyond Cardiff and Swansea since long before Saturday’s historic season kick-off.

But as the pair prepare to take to the pitch for the new campaign, they could be set to get fresh backing from an unexpected quarter – all the way from the Big Apple.

Cardiff City and Swansea City’s branding has featured on New York taxis, the subway and bus shelters this week ahead of the clubs’ season openers against West Ham and Manchester United respectively.

Cardiff City Taxi on the streets of New York
Cardiff City Taxi on the streets of New York


Meanwhile the Bluebirds have been designated the borough of Brooklyn and the Swans The Upper West Side – with those living there encouraged to adopt the clubs.

It is all part of US network NBC Sport’s marketing campaign for the new Premier League season, for which it has secured broadcasting rights from Fox Sports and ESPN for the first time in a reported $250m deal.

The tub-thumping for Cardiff and Swansea comes after NBC had previously erected a massive billboard of Wales winger Gareth Bale in Times Square.

Swansea City Cab on the streets of New York
Swansea City Cab on the streets of New York


As well as showing an unprecedented 380 live games across a host of channels, its SportsLive website and apps, NBC will be broadcasting more than 600 hours of Premier League original programming.

Ex-pats in the US say it is a welcome innovation after years of struggling to keep up with the South Wales clubs, particularly when they were traversing the lower leagues.

Ronan Gardiner, 44, a Cardiff City fan from Llandaff, Cardiff, who now lives in Greenwich Village and is part of the “New York Bluebirds” supporters group told WalesOnline NBC had given football – or soccer – a shot in the arm Stateside.

He said: “It’s everywhere. They are on bus shelters, on the side of subways on billboards in Times Square.

“They are making a real push for soccer, or football as we would call it, in this country which is really exciting.

“Now, it’s pretty incredible, we will see them every week – week-in and week-out and also stop having to explain who Cardiff are.”

Mr Gardiner, who works as a publisher of Men’s Health magazine in New York, said while the US was still dominated by the “big four” sports of American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey, football was now getting more of a look-in.

“Even in the 10 years I have been here, the awareness of soccer and the awareness of the English Premier League has grown dramatically,” he said.

“Even people who have not grown up with it and didn’t play it have become aware of it.

“They have gone from watching it every four years at a World Cup to adopting Premier League teams and really getting more into it.”

But Mr Gardiner confessed the map of New York with the 20 Premier League clubs each designated a district had little rhyme or reason.

He said: “You would think Chelsea would have been given Chelsea and they weren’t.

“Hull City have been given Harlem.”

Mr Gardiner will be watching Cardiff’s Premier League bow in a New York football bar called Legends and says he will return to Wales for Cardiff’s Boxing Day clash with Southampton.

Jim White, who runs Swansea City fans’ site, said in the club’s two years in the Premier League, its global appeal had grown massively.

“We see on the site actually, I have got connections to virtually every country in the world – Brazil, Spain, Holland, Sweden,” he said.

A Swansea city spokesman added they welcomed entering the US market via NBC.

“With NBC taking up the TV rights for this season it will help spread the Swansea City message across America,” he said.

“There is a huge Hispanic influence across the USA and with seven Spanish players in our squad I’m sure it will help us attract even more supporters to our ever growing fan base.

“Saturday’s fixture against Manchester United will be screened live and free into 95% of homes in America so it is a fantastic opportunity to impress another nation.”

Pierre Moossa, NBC Sports Group’s coordinating producer, added: “Our goal is to be overseas as much as possible to give people a sense of place and bridge that geographical divide.”

No-one at Cardiff City Football Club was available for comment.

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