All aboard the Baker Bus. Next stop: San Francisco

The United States' victory at the Las Vegas Sevens last weekend has given the Rugby World Cup Sevens the perfect publicity, with the event to be staged July 20-22 on American soil for the first time.

A crowd in excess of 100,000 people is expected across the three days of action at AT&T Park, the home of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants, and there is likely to be a surge in American interest after the Eagles romped to victory in the Cup final in Las Vegas, in no small part thanks to the deeds of Perry Baker.

But the desire to stage the event in San Francisco was about targeting international travellers as much as offering something new and exciting for the local fans.

"Doing big-time international sports is a real key thing that we've done over the last few years, and that we really focus on," San Francisco Travel executive vice-president Howard Pickett told ESPN.

"So we have teams like the Giants and [Golden State] Warriors who are national championship winners; we did the America's Cup in 2013, we just had the Super Bowl [2017] and so this for us was another great example of being able to bring another international sporting event to San Francisco to attract an international audience, which is really important to us.

"We have a very high percentage of international visitors in our visitor base, and especially from markets like Australia and New Zealand and from the UK and places where rugby is big; it [Rugby World Cup Sevens] was a great device, if you will, for us to come into the markets and to be able to promote San Francisco but with something that was really exciting and relevant for the locals."

The event could not have a better individual than Baker as its chief marketing tool as organisers look to offer San Franciscans something "exciting".

The reigning World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Baker set Las Vegas alight in finishing second on the individual performance tracker with 47 points. He also crossed for eight tries over the Eagles' six matches.

USA Rugby chief executive Dan Payne hopes to unearth more Baker-type players in the future, with the World Cup Sevens providing the perfect opportunity to show people that the transition from sports such as American football isn't actually that difficult.

"There's plenty coming up through," Payne told ESPN when asked whether there were any other hopefuls in the Baker mould. "I think the exciting thing is, we've said for a long time that we can switch people into playing the game quickly and it was normally scoffed at... well, Perry Baker just won Sevens Player of the Year and he's 31 years old.

"And he's not just a speed merchant anymore. He's a pretty good footballer. [He's now] kind of the poster child for people coming up... there are a lot of really good athletes still out there that are looking for an opportunity to still be an athlete when they look in the mirror themselves, and rugby is offering that opportunity."

USA Sevens coach Mike Friday shares Payne's optimism, particularly given the fashion in which his squad was able to switch up their tactics to suit the opposition in Las Vegas.

Friday wants the American public to embrace rugby in greater numbers and adopt the Eagles as another national side worth following, something they proved with their triumph in the Nevada desert.

"This hopefully will touch and reach a lot more of the American sporting population; [hopefully] they'll realise they've got another national team they can be proud of, that they can support," Friday said.

"It ticks the boxes, it's fast-moving, there's collisions, there's pace, power, physicality. So why wouldn't you want to watch it if you're a sport-loving American. So we just need to bring them in, suck them in and let them enjoy being a part of what we've done today and hopefully we can do more of it in the future."