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BUILD UP FOR WOMEN'S WORLD CUP BEGINS; EVENT ADDS MUSIC
Published May 26, 1999
The "risk" of televising the '99 Women's World Cup (WWC) is "significant," according to Laura Vecsey of the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, who wrote that "soccer watching in America rates somewhere behind Robbie Knievel daredevil stunts and Triple Crown horse racing." But WWC organizers are "praying this is the breakthrough event for women's soccer, if not worldwide then at least in this country." Vecsey: "So far, the sporting public's awareness of the World Cup seems vague." But WWC President Marla Messing says that officials are not concerned that TV partner ESPN might be "lagging" in event promotion. Messing: "I think with TV, proximity to the event is crucial. I don't think they do a lot of advance promotion because that's not what their viewers are geared for" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 5/25). Meanwhile, BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports that WWC officials have "heightened expectations" for their licensing efforts. Officials, claiming to have "blown past their original" $1M prediction, are now "gunning" for $2.5M, based on a projected $50M in retail sales (BRANDWEEK, 5/24 issue). SI's Kevin Cook profiles Mia Hamm and questions whether Hamm "can measure up to Mia mania." Cook writes that Hamm's performance in the WWC is key, as there is "no doubt" that Hamm's a "Madison Avenue dynamo" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 5/31). POP UP VIDEO: Pop group 'N Sync will headline performances during the Opening Ceremonies of the '99 WWC at Giants Stadium in NJ. Joining 'N Sync will be British pop singer Billie and Irish pop band B-Witched (WWC). In Chicago, Jeanie Chung: "If there was any doubt World Cup organizers were targeting teenage and preteen girls, it was laid to rest when they announced entertainers for the opening ceremonies" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/25).