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READY TO HAMM IT UP: WOMEN'S WORLD CUP BLITZ ON HIGH GEAR
Published June 3, 1999
U.S. Women's National Soccer Team co-captains Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy were guests on ESPN's "Up Close" with Gary Miller last night and discussed the upcoming Women's World Cup and the growing popularity of women's soccer in the U.S. Foudy, on the sport's growth: "I think one of the main reasons is people can finally identify with players [like Mia Hamm]. ... I think gradually as we come on TV more and we're getting more exposure people start to identify with players and discover that, 'Wow, that is an entertaining game. Chicks can play soccer'" (ESPN, 6/2). NEWSWEEK's Martha Brant examines marketing around the WWC and writes, "For companies used to writing big checks to hire athletes with marquee names, the relative anonymity of the [U.S] women's team has become an unexpected asset." With the exception of Hamm, "team members haven't spent much time in the spotlight, so they've been gung-ho to promote the event" (NEWSWEEK, 6/7 issue). BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports that ESPN has "marshalled a disparate collection of celebrities" for its upcoming WWC ad campaign, which "asks President Clinton to attend" the WWC championship game. The campaign "sees a witless" DC lobbyist "enlist the help" of Tom Hayden, G. Gordon Liddy, James Carville, Tara Lipinski, Mark Spitz, Mike Eruzione, Joan Jett, Alan Dershowitz and the father of Mia Hamm "pleading with the president to come support" the U.S. team (BRANDWEEK, 5/31 issue). WOMEN'S NOTES: USA TODAY's Peter Brewington reports that "only Nike employees are on the guest list" for today's Australia-U.S. exhibition women's soccer match on the Nike campus in Beaverton. Nike is a top sponsor of the men's and women's teams of both the U.S. and Brazil (USA TODAY, 6/3). Nike Chair Phil Knight will dedicate the newly-constructed "Mia Hamm Building" at Nike's campus on Friday (Nike).