NEW YORK (September 2, 2010) – The USA Bid Committee today announced that the campaign’s website, GoUSAbid.com, reached the milestone of one million supporters of the United States' effort to win the right to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The United States reached the landmark less than one week before the FIFA Inspection Delegation arrives in the United States for its review of the proposed stadiums, training sites, FIFA Fan Fest venues, transportation, and other components of the U.S. bid.
“To reach one million supporters through our grassroots campaign is yet another important indicator that our country is passionate about soccer and the World Cup,“ said Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer and chairman of the USA Bid Committee. “The effort that was put together by all of our 18 candidate host cities, our federation, state soccer associations and our professional clubs to help us reach this initial milestone as a nation is commendable. We are looking forward to continuing to develop this platform in the upcoming months leading up to FIFA’s decision.”
After obtaining 750,000 signatures, the stretch drive to one million began on July 1 after U.S. Men’s National Team star Landon Donovan – a member of the Bid Committee Board of Directors – encouraged fans to gather the final 250,000 signatures before December 2, when FIFA will announce its decision on the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. In an e-mail appeal to fans of soccer in the United States, Donovan wrote: “One million signatures mean one million reasons for the U.S. to host the FIFA World Cup™. Help us reach our goal by spreading the word to everyone you know.”
Demonstrating the impressive support and passion for the game in the United States, the U.S. bid collected those 250,000 signatures to get to one million supporters exactly three months ahead of schedule.
“Today is another proud day for soccer in the United States as one million fans – and counting – have joined the movement to bring the World Cup back to the United States in 2018 or 2022,” said Donovan. “I was amazed to see the reaction from the fans back home when we beat Algeria to win our group at the World Cup. Adding more than 250,000 petition signatures since that inspirational moment to surpass the million milestone at this point of our campaign shows that the passion for soccer and the World Cup is alive and well in the U.S.”
Supporters from across the United States continue to display our country’s passion for soccer through multiple actions on GoUSAbid.com. Additionally, support for the U.S. bid came from a national SMS text messaging campaign and via hand-signed petitions collected throughout the summer at soccer events nationwide as well as from state and local youth soccer organizations. Of the one million supporters of the bid to host the FIFA World Cup™ in the United States in 2018 or 2022:
- Over 70,000 constituents sent more than 488,000 emails using the “Tell-a-Friend” tool
- Over 1,300 watch parties for the 2010 World Cup were created, and all 32 World Cup teams had fan-specific watch parties created
- Over 20,000 people RSVP’d to attend the World Cup watch parties, with many more than that actually attending
With its online strategy and technology led by accomplished digital media consultants Blue State Digital, GoUSAbid.com was launched August 12, 2009 to serve as the online home for the U.S. Bid to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The site is the nerve center for USA Bid Committee initiatives and communication leading up to FIFA’s announcement of the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup on December 2, 2010.
The campaign for the United States to be selected as host of the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 moves to the next phase when the USA Bid Committee hosts the FIFA Inspection Delegation, Monday, September 6, to Thursday, September 9.
The six-person delegation will arrive in New York City on Monday, Sept. 6, ahead of a three-day visit of five U.S. cities representing the 18 candidate host cities of the United States bid – New York/New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Miami, Dallas and Houston. During this important tour, the FIFA Inspection Delegation will have the opportunity to experience firsthand some of the U.S. bid’s proposed stadiums, training sites, FIFA Fan Fest venues, transportation, hotels, media facilities and much more.
Gulati and the USA Bid Committee will host the FIFA Inspection Delegation led by Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the president of the Chile Football Association. The FIFA Delegation also includes: Dr. Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organizing committee in South Africa; Jürgen Müller, FIFA Head of Event Management; Wolfgang Eichler, FIFA Media Officer; David Fowler, FIFA Marketing; and Julio Avellar, FIFA Competitions.
Representatives of all 18 United States candidate host cities will be among the first people to greet the FIFA Delegation on Monday, Sept. 6, when they gather for a private reception at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to celebrate the FIFA Delegation’s arrival in the United States.
Other highlights of the tour include visits to proposed FIFA World Cup stadiums for all five markets, Red Bull Arena, home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, and a number of proposed sites for FIFA World Cup related activities, such as Preliminary and Final Draws, FIFA Congress, International Broadcast Center and FIFA Fan Fests.
The USA Bid Committee will distribute a media wrap-up at the end of each day of the FIFA Technical Inspection Tour, detailing the activities in each one of the markets.
The USA Bid Committee on May 14 submitted to FIFA its comprehensive bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The 24 member FIFA Executive Committee will make its decision on hosts for both tournaments on Thursday, Dec. 2, at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE INC.:
The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati is Chairman of the USA Bid Committee, David Downs is the Executive Director and President Bill Clinton is the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors that includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian Drew Carey, former boxer Oscar De La Hoya, American soccer stars Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, actor Morgan Freeman, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, director Spike Lee, actor Brad Pitt and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The U.S. Bid is supported by official sponsors American Airlines, AT&T and Fox Soccer Channel. The U.S. Bid includes 18 candidate host cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. The U.S. Bid also features 21 currently existing stadiums, 18 of which have been built or renovated in the last 20 years and all of which are in compliance with FIFA requirements. With an average capacity of more than 76,000 spectators, the stadiums in the U.S. Bid offer the availability of a World Cup-record five million tickets that would generate $1 billion in ticket sales. For more information on the U.S. Bid, visit goUSAbid.com.