Celtic's new American players can bring commercial benefits

By Connor Gordon

January 16, 2019

Celtic bringing in three Americans could open commercial avenues to the club and league.

The ink is dry on the loan deal for Timothy Weah, a massive hotshot for the US national team.

Furthermore, the Hoops have all but tied up Manny Perez and Andrew Gutman.

A growing American fan base can be built upon.

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The American soccer market is on the increase as the country finally begin to accept the sport.

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At a point, The Hoops boasted one million fans in North America but it is hard for fans to catch the team on TV.

US audiences will want to see young striker Timothy Weah playing for Celtic. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

A subscription service to Celtic TV is all fans have and that doesn’t include all games.

The Scottish Premiership have no TV deal with any of the various US companies. However, the Scottish Cup has a small contract with ESPN+ – an online subscription service.

A greater American influence on Scottish football could get US TV companies around the debating table.

SPFL chiefs have negotiated a greater TV deal in the UK with Sky Sports this season. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

The SPFL have already agreed bumper contracts at home with Sky Sports and Premier Sports.

Furthermore, the organisation are broadcasting to the Middle East on Bein Sports.

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Rangers have always had the edge on their city counterparts when it comes to grabbing US neutrals.

For the last 20 years, the Gers have signed some decent American talent, bringing fans to the club.

Big names such as Damarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Claudio Reyna have wore the blue shirt.

However, Celtic have only really had the likes of Dominic Cervi in the past – not pulling any fans to the team.

Celtic’s only known American in recent times is former reserve keeper Dominic Cervi. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Weah is a massive name in football and The Bhoys’ new acquisition will get around the country. It remains to be seen how much of an affect Perez and Gutman will have but they come with reputations.

Hopefully more Americans will buy jerseys and merchandise which will only grow the brand. Unfortunately, European qualifiers make US tours a thing of the past.

So, Celtic must go down a different route to attract fans across the pond.