SBD/July 8, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Soccer Notes: Does The FIFA BOD Need A Stronger Female Presence?

Wambach said no one seems to be championing women's soccer issues
ESPNW's Kate Fagan wrote FIFA "needs to include more women," as there are now 123 countries with "women's senior national teams, and women play in some capacity in all of FIFA's 209 member nations." The "lone woman and second-youngest member of the committee, 47-year-old Lydia Nsekera of Burundi, joined the ranks last year, the first time that a woman was voted onto the board." But Nsekera's ascension was "hardly an organic event: FIFA decided to designate one seat on the executive committee for a woman." U.S. women's national soccer team F Abby Wambach said that there are "so few high-ranking women in international soccer that no one seems to be championing issues that specifically affect the women's game" (ESPNW.com, 7/7).

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: In DC, Steven Goff wrote CONCACAF "gained fresh respect and admiration" at the World Cup by advancing three teams -- U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica -- beyond the group stage for the "first time in its unremarkable history." CONCACAF remains "far behind Europe and South America, titans of international soccer," but the "encouraging results here raised the eyebrows of fans and media, and [have] drawn attention from European clubs seeking to harvest fresh talent" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/6).

BRAND BUILDER: In Tampa, Margaret Cashill reports NASL has enlisted marketing firm EraserFarm, Tampa, to "help establish its brand." EraserFarm Managing Dir Cindy Haynes said that as NASL’s agency of record, the firm wants to make the minor league as "recognizable as its 10 soccer teams." Haynes: "We want to create something where NASL is as known to customers as the teams themselves" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/8).

TIME WARP: In Orlando, Mike Bianchi writes all U.S. sports -- "especially NASCAR -- need to be more like soccer: Non-stop, fast-paced, energetic and expeditious." Bianchi: "Enough of the four-hour college football games; the five-hour baseball marathons; and the on-again, off-again two-day NASCAR rain delays that suck the very life out of your fan base." In "contrast, you can set your watch to soccer matches." Almost "without fail, they are done in two hours, and the young fan base is off to something else." In today's "high-speed, high-tech, high-intensity world, American sports fans have better things to do than to be held hostage all day and night at a hot, crowded sports stadium where they can't get a decent Internet connection" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/8). 
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