SBD/20/Events Attractions

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HEADS INTO ITS FINAL PHASE OF PROMO

          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). 

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