The Interview: Daniel Ladik
The Seton Hall professor joins me to discuss a fascinating new scientific poll of Americans on their interest in soccer and this year's World Cup
Seton Hall’s Daniel Ladik just did a really interesting scientific poll with Americans about their interest in soccer and this year’s World Cup. I spoke to him about it below and enjoyed our conversation, which I think we’ll connect for again in November when another poll comes out right before the World Cup.
The entirety of the written interview below is reserved for paid subscribers. As always, you can still get the entire free audio version of my podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you like to go for your pods.
Our guest now is Daniel Ladik, or Dr. Dan-o to his students at Seton Hall. He's an associate professor of marketing and a methodologist for the Seton Hall Sports Poll at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University, where he's been for the last 11 years. Dan-o, it's great to talk to you. Thanks for coming on the show.
Thank you, Grant. Long-time listener, first-time caller.
I'm really excited about this, because we're going to talk about some new polling that you just did and have been doing on soccer in the U.S., scientific polling ahead of the World Cup later this year in Qatar. But before we get into some details on that, I just want to start off by asking, what is the Seton Hall Sports Poll?
The Seton Hall Sports Poll is a lab in the Stillman School of Business. Our mission is what we call “concepts into practice,” which means bringing the real world into the classroom and on campus. Every one of the majors in the Stillman School has a lab. The finance department has an incredible trading room. The marketing department has a focus group room with two-way mirrors for the marketing research class, and the sports management major has the Seton Hall Sports Poll under the direction of Charlie Grantham, who's the former executive director of the NBA Players Association.
“So we asked [Americans], knowing about these human rights violations [in Qatar], does this reduce your interest in the World Cup? 41% of the general population said yes, 51% of the sports fans said yes, and 63% of avid fans said yes.” — Daniel Ladik
And you have a soccer connection as well. You're a soccer guy. Could you explain a little bit about your soccer story?
I grew up playing soccer, played soccer in high school. Picked my college and I decided to call the coach, "Hey, can I try to walk on?" And he was like, "Okay." I did make it as a walk-on at St. Joseph’s University. Didn't play very much. I was young and inexperienced. Loved to play. Did not know that one of the assistant coaches was Walter Bahr of the 1950 World Cup fame that beat England. We weren't even playing in World Cups at that time, it was so long ago.
My freshman year, we played against All-American Alexi Lalas, who was a junior at the time. And yes, Rutgers beat us very well, 4-1, in which he scored a goal. He was very good then too. But I've stayed with the game. Super ecstatic that the game is so prominent now in the U.S. A big fan of European soccer in addition to the U.S., and my favorite team is Marseille. I've been to 11 games in… no, 14 games in the Velodrome.
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