The Soccer Tournament is expanding to feature men's and women's teams next year
The GIST: After the men’s 7-on-7 The Soccer Tournament (TST) launched in June 2023, organizers saw demand for a premier soccer fan experience and expanded their game. The 2024 event will feature men’s and women’s teams competing for separate $1M prizes, making this the highest-stakes women’s pro soccer event in the world. Goals.
The company: TST falls under The Tournament brand, which facilitates million-dollar, winner-take-all sports competitions. CEO Jon Mugar started The Basketball Tournament in 2014 and expanded to TST last year, which narrowed an international field of over 400 applicants to 32 teams, who ultimately played in front of over 35K fans in North Carolina.
- Next year’s edition will add eight women’s teams to the event, including a return from Heather O’Reilly’s US Women — the team played in the men’s tourney last year and features former USWNT players.
The tournament: TST will return to North Carolina’s WakeMed Soccer Park in June, with the women’s tourney running concurrently with TST’s expanded 48-team men’s version. The event expects about 70K fans and continued interest from all over the world, and will culminate in a championship game double-header for the men and women on June 10th.
The blueprint: Mugar says TST is designed for fans of high-stakes games, an appealing format for fluid and Gen Z fans. The five-day event aims to bring footy fans from across the globe to a unique, festival-like environment.
- TST wants to capitalize on last year’s reach, too. In 2023, it drew 14 sponsors for one-year deals, as well as NBC and Peacock as a broadcasting partner. Mugar is striving for increased sponsorship and competitive TV deals for this one-of-its-kind soccer tourney.
The trend: In the U.S., the USWNT is more widely known than the USMNT, which is reflected by record-breaking viewership over the past decade. It’s smart for TST to expand into the highly popular sport of women’s soccer — if men and women team up to compete for equal prizes, it grows the game for everyone. Move it, football heads.