The Biggest Sporting Event in World History

By Kyle Sheldon, Name & Number Founder & CEO


The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is less than a week away. Nearly three million (!) tickets have been sold for the event and it’s estimated that nearly four billion viewers will tune in to the month-long tournament. In other words, it’s going to be big. But, as big as this edition of the tournament will be, it will pale in comparison to the behemoth that is coming to North America in less than four years. 

  • IN SHORT: The 2026 FIFA World Cup is likely to be the biggest sporting event in human history. 

Let that sink in for a moment. And then, let’s take a look at what we know about the 2026 edition of the tournament so far: 

  • For the first time ever, the tournament will be jointly hosted by three countries - the United States, Canada, and Mexico - with matches taking place across 16 cities 

  • The tournament has been expanded from 32 teams to 48, which will see a 25% increase in the total number of matches (from 64 to 80) 

  • 60 matches, including every match from the quarterfinals onward, will be hosted by the U.S. while Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches

  • With the increased number of matches and a total capacity of 1.1M across 16 venues, the tournament will smash attendance records 

So, what does it all mean?

First of all, it means 2026 is going to be a *ton* of fun for those who love the beautiful game. While only 11 U.S. cities can host matches, every major city across the country will host viewing parties, community impact events, soccer festivals, media events, soccer clinics, and more. 

Beyond the joy the tournament will bring to North America, it clearly presents an incredible opportunity to connect to soccer fans - both those who are long-time fans of the game as well as the millions who will discover the beauty of the sport in real-time during the tournament.  

Of utmost importance for brands is initiating a presence in soccer - if you don’t already have one - well before the 2026 tournament begins. For anyone that asks us, we’ll recommend brands establish credibility in the U.S. and in the sport at least two (2) years in advance of the World Cup and then use the tournament as a meaningful accelerator - whether to drive specific business metrics or to strengthen brand equity, or a combination of both. 

  • CONSIDER: Every U.S. and Canadian host city is home to a Major League Soccer team providing ample opportunity for brands to exhibit a commitment and connection to the sport well in advance of 2026. 

If you aren’t already thinking about your soccer strategy in the U.S., you should be. 

And, as you may have guessed, we’re here to help. 

We built Name & Number with the sole intent of super-serving those who want to connect to young, diverse, tech-savvy U.S. soccer consumers. Our aim is to help brands, teams, leagues, federations, players, and media properties connect to American soccer fans and the unique culture that exists here. Drop us a line and we can talk shop. 

The 2026 FIFA World Cup has the potential to be the biggest sporting event in world history and you can ensure you’re well-positioned to take advantage of the moment.