Our nation has spoken – with its dollars no less – and has crowned Mexico as its team. Online sports retailer Soccer.com crunched its sales numbers and revealed the top-selling World Cup jerseys by state in an infographic published on its blog. In 23 states, Mexico came out on top, by far surpassing nearest competitor Germany, which was the biggest seller in eight states.
The fact that Mexican shirts outsell ITS competitors is hardly a surprise in a country with nearly 40 million identifying as having either full or partial Mexican ancestry. But the absence of the US from the tournament and the campaigns asking those in the country to support Mexico, despite the controversy, might have spurred some extra sales.
The real surprises of the infographic come from teams with smaller immigrant populations in the US and the unlikely places that lend them their support. For example, the top seller in South Dakota is the Colombian jersey, which is striking if you consider that, according to the 2010 census, only 186 Colombian-Americans reported living in the state. Eight years is an important time in demographic terms, but is it enough to build a James Rodriguez supporters army?
Peru, in its historic return to the World Cup after 36 years, generated enough interest to top sales in Kansas, Michigan, and more surprisingly, New York, where they have a sizable population, though one that is smaller in comparison to other Latin American countries. The proximity of New Jersey, another state with a sizable Peruvian population, might have skewed the results.
Soccer.com also tallied the best-selling jerseys by player name. In a show of the rising popularity of Mexico’s new young star, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, his jersey was the most popular in 10 states, and this was before he scored the winning goal against Germany in Mexico’s first game in Russia. Lionel Messi and Neymar, global stars that transcend their national teams, were the favorites of fans in eight and six states, respectively.
Curiously, Cristiano Ronaldo’s popularity with his club, Real Madrid, didn’t translate to his home country, Portugal. His jersey was the best seller only in Kansas and Ohio, which are odd choices, considering that in the only state where Portugal topped the sales charts, New Jersey, the best-selling shirt was France’s Paul Pogba.