SBD/Issue 179/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

First TV Ad Promoting U.S. World Cup Bid To Break Saturday

USA Bid Committee On Saturday Breaking
Ad Promoting Bid For Future World Cup

The push behind the U.S. attempt to land either the '18 or '22 World Cup takes a further step this weekend with a new TV spot aimed at promoting interest in the bid. The 30-second spot, entitled "The Game," via Stone Ward, Chicago, aims to encourage fans to visit the USA Bid Committee's Web site and sign a petition supporting the bid. The commercial begins with a child kicking a soccer ball and also features footage from MLS games and U.S. men's national team games. Stone Ward Dir of Account Management Tom Lillig said the ad is aimed at capturing "all of that passion that Americans have for the game of soccer." "We hope that it really does leave people with that sort of call to action that they really need to go and not only support this bid, but take a few minutes and click on the link and also share it with friends," Lillig said. The bid petition is closing in on 400,000 signatures, and the goal is for it to reach the 1 million mark in the coming months. Individuals who sign the petition are required to submit their e-mail address and zip code, and have the option to include their first name and last name as well. "The Game" will break Saturday during both ESPN2's telecast of the Turkey-U.S. friendly and Fox Soccer Channel's telecast of the Dynamo-Union MLS game. It will continue to air on all of FSC's MLS telecasts through the month of October.

CAMPAIGN SHIFT: The ad is part of a redirecting of the campaign from a primarily e-mail and online-based campaign to a campaign including TV ads and other components, a shift intended to coincide with the arrival of this summer's FIFA World Cup. "It really makes sense for people to say, 'Why wouldn't I want to have the event that I am focusing on on television right in my backyard here?'" said USA Bid Committee Dir of Marketing & Communications Jurgen Mainka. "Everyone would love to have a World Cup here on their own soil." Mainka added there is a possibility ads for the campaign could air around ESPN's and Univision's World Cup coverage. Meanwhile, future ads will include a version tailored to a Hispanic audience, as well as another that will air in stadiums encouraging fans to submit text messages in support of the U.S. bid. That ad will air in stadiums in many of the 18 U.S. bid cities, and will air in MLB and NFL stadiums and NBA arenas in addition to MLS stadiums.

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