US Soccer Federation gears for World Cup push

NEW YORK: The US Soccer Federation is increasing its media and PR commitments to the US team that plays at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in Germany this June.

NEW YORK: The US Soccer Federation is increasing its media and PR commitments to the US team that plays at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in Germany this June.

Jim Moorhouse, director of communication for US Soccer, said that the media and official sponsors are devoting more energies to the team than it did for the last World Cup in 2002, when the US team made it to the quarterfinals.

“Our focus is on [media] coverage and promotion,” rather than individual campaigns, said “For us, the World Cup is so big that it’s a platform unto itself.”

While Moorhouse could not disclose the ultimate number of media credentials issued for the games in Germany, he said the organization has received about 250-300 requests.

The US team also hosting twice as many journalists at its training camp in North Carolina this year versus 2002. 

Moorhouse added that the federation, which is the governing body of US soccer, has cross promotional activities with sponsors such as Nike and Gatorade, which are putting increased marketing heft behind the team. The team has also added Sierra Mist as a seventh sponsor, while Hyundai replaces Chevrolet as auto sponsor and Panasonic replaces Phillips as consumer electronics sponsor. 

While US Soccer hasn’t decreed an official motto, Moorhouse said it is embracing the “Don’t Tread” slogan featured in Nike commercials.

He adds that financial and editorial support has increased because many adults who grew up playing soccer have are now employed in executive positions at Fortune 500 companies, or are sports writers and editors.

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