Casey Wasserman, Founder of Wasserman Media Group, Joins Team to Bring FIFA World Cup to U.S. in 2018 or 2022
NEW YORK (April 20, 2010) – Casey Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group, has formally accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its effort to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
“In a very short period of time, Casey has taken Wasserman Media Group to the forefront of the sports industry, especially in soccer,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “His passion and knowledge of the game, in addition to the company’s worldwide reach, will be important additions to the USA Bid efforts during the upcoming months of our campaign.”
In 2002, Wasserman founded Wasserman Media Group, a global sports and entertainment company with leadership positions in athlete representation, global property sales, action sports, and corporate and property consulting. Wasserman’s soccer practice is considered the most prominent in the sport, handling more than 250 players such as Mia Hamm and Landon Donovan, and international football stars including Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen. In addition, Wasserman has represented many naming rights and sponsorship relationships including the historic $180 million deal to name the Emirates Stadium in London, home of the famed Arsenal Football Club. Wasserman Media Group also serves corporate clients such as American Express, Castrol, Procter & Gamble and T-Mobile.
“Due to its global reach and appeal, soccer has an unparalleled ability to embrace and connect fans from around the world, and I am truly honored to join esteemed colleagues in efforts to return the World Cup to the U.S. at a time when the sport can realize great benefits from our support,” said Wasserman. “Sports are the ultimate unifying bond between countries and people, and our work together provides an opportunity to link millions of fans with the excitement of soccer’s burgeoning and limitless possibility.”
Wasserman graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in political science. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wasserman Foundation, which is the private charitable organization of his family. Wasserman also serves on the boards of New York University, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library Foundation and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The announcement of Wasserman joining the USA Bid Committee comes with just 24 days remaining until the United States and the other eight competing bids will submit its official bid book to FIFA in a formal ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on May 14. All candidates must have their bid applications submitted to FIFA by that day. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments on December 2, 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
The United States, Australia, England, Japan 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 only applied as candidates to host the tournament in 2022. Indonesia withdrew its bid in March 2010, while Mexico withdrew its bid in September 2009. Following the Mexico announcement, CONCACAF issued a public endorsement for the United States bid in November that pledged the full support of soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Wasserman joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed Counselor to President Clinton Douglas Band, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, MLS founding investor Philip Anschutz, Univision CEO Joe Uva, 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.
The USA Bid Committee’s efforts have earned the enthusiastic support of President Barack Obama, who in April of 2009 reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the goal of bringing 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.
On Monday, July 27, 2009, Obama and Blatter met at the White House to discuss the U.S. bid and other soccer-related topics. The meeting was marked by Blatter confirming his invitation for President Obama to be his guest at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. President Obama has expressed his interest in attending the event if possible.
In October of 2009, the USA Bid Committee released a study conducted by an independent consulting firm that estimates a conservative domestic economic impact of five billion dollars if the United States is chosen to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The findings indicate that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today’s dollar value.
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 clear and simple: 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.
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 USA Bid Committee Executive Director is David Downs. 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 Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz, Counselor to President Clinton Douglas Band, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, 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, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Univision CEO Joe Uva, Wasserman Media Group Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman and Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. For more information, visit goUSAbid.com.