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Volume 21 No. 43
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Fox Sports continues adjustments for World Cup without U.S. team

Fox Sports President and COO Eric Shanks put on a brave face about producing a World Cup from Russia that will not include the U.S. men’s national team.


Over the last six months, Fox Sports has changed its marketing, storytelling and coverage plans, which include having four of its six broadcast teams call games remotely from a Los Angeles broadcast studio.


While he obviously would have preferred having a U.S. team in the draw, Shanks said Fox Sports has had to make several changes to its marketing plan that ultimately could benefit the network. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” he said.


The campaign will have more of a focus on international soccer stars, like Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi, than previously was planned.


“When you see our campaign, it’s really centered around the stars,” Shanks said. “It always was going to have a huge component of world-class soccer in it.”


Shanks also referenced a marketing campaign with 23andme, which will offer “World Cup DNA tests” to help U.S. viewers figure out the teams they should support.


“It’s the greatest melting pot in the world that we live in — everybody is from somewhere else,” he said. “People can have fun figuring out their ancestry and figuring out what team they have a connection to.”