NEW YORK (July 16, 2009) – Joe Uva, the Chief Executive Officer of Univision Communications, Inc., today accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
Univision is the leading Spanish-language media company in the U.S. Uva became Univision CEO on April 1, 2007, assuming overall responsibility for the company's suite of market-leading assets that include the Univision Network, which is one of the top five television networks in America regardless of language — and is also the No. 1 Spanish-language broadcast television network; TeleFutura, the second leading Spanish-language network in key day parts; KMEX, the No. 1 television station in the country regardless of language; Galavisión, the No. 1 Spanish-language cable network; Univision Radio, the No. 1 Spanish-language radio group and Univision Interactive Media, which includes the No. 1 U.S. Spanish-language Internet portal.
“In the U.S., Univision is ‘futbol’ for millions of viewers looking to feel the passion and energy that defines the sport,” said Uva. “Because of the growing influence and impact of the Hispanic population in this country, we know we will have a critical voice in helping the United States secure the opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. I am personally honored to be able to support this bid on their behalf.”
Univision has been the exclusive Spanish-language broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup since 1978. Univision is also a major supporter of soccer in the U.S. through its broadcasts of the Men’s National Team and Major League Soccer, in addition to a wide range of top-tier global events in which the U.S. participates.
“The USA Bid Committee is grateful to have Joe Uva and Univision Communications supporting our bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022,” said David Downs, Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. “Univision serves a crucial role in introducing millions of Spanish-speaking individuals to our country every year and soccer plays an especially important role in that process. The Hispanic population greatly contributes to the diversity of our country and that diversity is a key strength of our bid.”
“For our bid to be successful, we will need the support of key allies in the media to help us communicate the fundamental mission behind our bid,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “Univision answers that call with a significant and growing base of viewers that has proven over the years to be passionate about soccer.”
Prior to joining Univision, Uva spent five years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom’s OMD Worldwide, building the company into the No. 2-ranked media strategy and buying agency in the world with over 100 offices in over 80 countries. Uva also spent 17 years at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In 1996, he was named President of Sales and Marketing for Turner Entertainment Group.
Uva is a member of the board of directors of TiVo, Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO). He also serves on several non-profit boards including the Ad Council and the International Radio & Television Society Foundation and is a member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.
The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.
All candidates must have their bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
Uva joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In the months ahead, the USA Bid Committee will add additional national leaders from the sectors of sports, entertainment, government and business.
The USA Bid Committee’s efforts also recently earned the support of President Barack Obama, who has reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.
“Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally,” President Obama wrote in his letter. “As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago.”
“Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe,” President Obama added. “That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”
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. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, former Democratic National Committee National Finance Chair Philip Murphy, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala and Univision CEO Joe Uva.