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).