The most popular soccer podcast in North America is looking to expand into new shows and new opportunities.
Men in Blazers, launched in 2010 by charismatic hosts Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, is unveiling a pair of new podcasts—one focused on women’s soccer, and the other on Champions League. It’s also inked a strategic relationship with For Soccer Ventures, the media and investment firm backed by Philadelphia Union co-owner Richie Graham, to help expand the Men in Blazers commercial footprint.
The platform is looking to capitalize both on its own community—it reaches more than 30 million people annually—and on what many believe will be a commercial explosion for soccer in the U.S. in the coming years. America is hosting a majority of the 2026 men’s World Cup, the 2028 Summer Olympics, and possibly a women’s World Cup as early as 2031.
“World football has always looked at America like Captain Kirk looked at space, like it’s the final frontier,” Bennett said in an interview. “The tectonic plates are currently shifting underneath the sport in this country. The infrastructure is preparing itself with deep foundations this time. And we’re just like a small surfboard on a giant wave.”
The U.S. women’s national team, two-time defending World Cup champs, remain FIFA’s top-ranked team. The U.S. men are back in the Top 15 for the first time in nearly a decade, and are on track to qualify for the 2022 World Cup later this year in Qatar. Both MLS and the NWSL are also experiencing record commercial growth.
Advertisers are taking note, which presents an opportunity for groups like Men in Blazers, according to managing director Scott Debson.
“Brands want to be talking to our audience,” Debson said in an interview. “And they’re getting smarter. They can’t just turn up in 2026 and say, ‘Hey, we’re here and we love soccer!’ They know they need to get in now.”
That’s the same thesis behind For Soccer Ventures, which launched in 2019 as a $50 million fund to pursue opportunities at all levels of the sport, from the World Cup through youth initiatives. FSV’s portfolio includes grassroots organizations Alianza de Futbol and Black Star Initiative, plus JugoTV and a few other podcasts.
“The call-up, as a sense of forgiveness, helped me a lot mentally.”— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) January 26, 2022
In a special conversation with Rog, @WMckennie reflects on his September suspension from the @USMNT.
Our AMERICAN DREAMS PODCAST, Presented by @budweiserusa: https://t.co/dP7wMaUhz2 pic.twitter.com/z0t51H6o0d
Bennett and Davies first met in 2006, at a wedding in New York. The ceremony, held on a boat, took place during the men’s World Cup final between Italy and France, and the two bonded over missing the game. They recognized the chemistry immediately, and four years later, during the next men’s World Cup, Men in Blazers was born.
They started as a podcast, but the Men in Blazers platform, which is entirely employee-owned, has since expanded to include a television show, digital videos, live events, tours and a newsletter. Bennett says the group’s greatest asset is its listeners, affectionately called GFOPs (Great Friends of the Pod), which have created an online community across the portfolio.
Men in Blazers recently did a pair of watch-alongs on Twitch, a soccer ManningCast of sorts, and drew more than 100,000 viewers. For Soccer Ventures, which helped connect the group to Paramount+, will work to expand all of that.
“Their clients are looking to them for expertise around soccer, and when you start going down that list of distribution—whether it’s podcasts, video, influencer strategy—these guys have managed to build it up,” Debson said.
The Champions League podcast, called “Men in Blazers European Nights,” launches this week. The women’s show, called the “Men in Blazers Women’s Soccer Podcast,” will debut later this year. Both are sponsored by Paramount+, the streaming service launched by ViacomCBS (Nasdaq: VIAC), which currently holds the broadcast rights to the Champions League in the U.S.
(This story has updated managing director Scott Debson’s title in the sixth paragraph.)