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WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HEADS INTO ITS FINAL PHASE OF PROMO
Published April 20, 1999
The '99 Women's World Cup (WWC) Organizing Committee announced ticket sales totaling 325,739 prior to single-game tickets being made available to the public yesterday. Through the sale of group packages and Stadium Series Packages, the three top-selling events and number of tickets sold to each is as follows: the opening doubleheader at Giants Stadium (44,380), the June 24 doubleheader in Chicago's Soldier Field (39,376) and the Final/Third Place doubleheader July 10 at the Rose Bowl (33,384) (FIFA). At a press conference yesterday, WWC President Marla Messing said that while she is "conservative by nature," an estimate of 500,000 total ticket sales is a "doable aggressive number" (USA TODAY, 4/20). Messing added that WWC will now conduct a more aggressive promotional campaign, aided by corporate partners including MasterCard Int'l, A-B, adidas and Allstate. Messing: "What you're going to see initially is a lot of print advertising in major dailies, in the markets in which the Women's World Cup is going to take place. ... Then you'll see a lot of national television advertising from some of our sponsors." The "last week to two weeks in May" is when the "real advertising push will kick in" (WWC). LOCAL LEVEL: NEWSDAY's Barbara Barker writes that ticket sales "have so exceeded projections that" organizers now believe "that the opener, the championship game," and "all of the U.S. matches will be sellouts or near sellouts." About 1,500 media members have applied for credentials to cover the event (NEWSDAY, 4/20). In DC, Amy Shipley writes that the WWC "acknowledged" that sales for three dates at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium "lag so far behind the average that the stadium will be one of the few that will have to be downsized for the event." An average of "about" 13,300 tickets have been sold for the matches, "well behind the overall average of 19,161." Messing noted "some hesitation" on the part of DC-area soccer fans "because they are so accustomed to going to RFK Stadium" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/20). SING A SONG: The committee unveiled its new $30,000 WWC trophy yesterday (USA TODAY, 4/20). The committee also introduced the official song of the event, "Because We Want To," sung by Virgin Records artist Billie Piper (WWC). LIKE A GOOD SPONSOR: Allstate will offer one boy and one girl, between the ages of 10-14, the chance to kick for $1M each during halftime of the June 24th game at Soldier Field. Kids will have the opportunity to register at local soccer tournaments, pro soccer games and at area Allstate agencies (Allstate). BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton writes that the promo "provides a way for Allstate to uses what is its first sports sponsorship to drive retail traffic to its agents' offices." The kicks, which will award the kids between $50,000-$1M "depending on the target hit," will be shown live on ESPN "as part of the sponsorship/media buy." Allstate will "further leverage" via a TV ad from Leo Burnett, Chicago, featuring girls from youth soccer teams. Lefton adds that Coca-Cola is teaming with U.S. team member Kristine Lilly for a spring promo on 2-liter bottles of Coke and Diet Coke. The New England regional promo will give entrants a chance to win a spot as a flag bearer or ball kid at the WWC semifinals in Foxboro (BRANDWEEK, 4/19 issue).