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Volume 26 No. 5

Marketing and Sponsorship

The organization’s new app will allow fans to follow along in real time with increased statistics and graphics.
Photo: U.S. SOCCER

The U.S. Soccer Federation is "relaunching its digital platforms this week alongside a new marketing campaign for the U.S. women’s national team, hoping both will build momentum" for the team heading into the Women's World Cup in France next month, according to Ian Thomas of SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The campaign, which is titled WNT Everywhere, will "begin with locally targeted activation across 11 U.S. cities where the players are from or where they’ve played soccer." In each city, a local female artist will "create a mural that features the respective players linked to that market." Those murals will have a "tie-in with a newly launched mobile app." On each mural, a logo will "act as an AR trigger that, when scanned with the app, will provide access to an exclusive video featuring the player." The digital relaunch includes a "new website and the app, both of which are being designed" by AKQA, S.F. Currently, 60% of USSF's traffic on its website "comes from mobile device users, and information related to the men’s and women’s national teams drives most of that." The new app "heavily features both teams." USSF "signed a partnership with Opta to be its official live match data provider" in '17 (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/6 issue).

NOT BACKING DOWN: The AP's Anne Peterson noted U.S. Soccer has "formally denied allegations of gender discrimination" made by USWNT players. The USSF in a filing yesterday claimed every decision made with "respect to the conduct alleged in the complaint was for legitimate business reasons and not for any discriminatory or other unlawful purpose." The federation maintained that the "differences in pay" between the men's and women's teams are the result of different CBAs that "establish distinct pay structures." It added that the pay gap is "not based on gender, but 'differences in the aggregate revenue generated,'" among other factors (AP, 5/6).

Puma has "created an anniversary book" to commemorate Usain Bolt setting the world record for the 100-meter dash 10 years ago, according to I-Hsien Sherwood of AD AGE. "The 9’58 Biography" -- named after Bolt's record time -- is a 224-page softcover that "describes the most important events of his life, from his childhood to training to Olympic medals." The book "hides another homage -- turn it sideways and it becomes a flip book." The animated Bolt, over 224 frames, "runs the race just as he did -- crouched, then with a slight hunch, straightening near the end before turning his head to watch the clock as he crosses the line." Each page is also "marked with the exact time at that point in the race." Puma, BETC, São Paulo, and Havas agency Versão Beta "surprised Bolt with the book at the launch of the brand’s Hybrid NX shoe in Brazil." Seventy other athletes and influencers at the event also "received copies to share on social media" (ADAGE.com, 5/6).