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USA Bid Committee For FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022 Names Fleishman-Hillard as Communications Agency

NEW YORK (March 30, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee announced today that it has named Fleishman-Hillard International Communications to drive its public relations and communications programs.

Fleishman-Hillard, headquartered in St. Louis with 31 offices in the U.S. and 80 worldwide, will collaborate with the USA Bid Committee on a variety of communications platforms related to the bid, including campaign themes, public affairs, special events and other public relations initiatives.

“We are very pleased to have selected Fleishman-Hillard from a number of reputable firms eager to represent the communications needs of the USA Bid Committee in our effort,” said David Downs, Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. “They understand and share our passion for the sport and the FIFA World Cup™, and I look forward to their contribution to our mission.”

The United States is one of nine candidate nations that have formally declared their desire to host to the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The others are Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, with joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain. Qatar and South Korea are applying solely for the 2022 tournament.

The entire bid process will span 21 months, with FIFA setting May 2010 as the deadline for countries to submit their final paperwork. FIFA’s 24-man Executive Committee will then review each bid and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups in December 2010.

In 1994, the U.S. played host to the FIFA World Cup for the first time and posted a final attendance of 3,587,538, a record that broke the previous tournament mark by more than one million fans. That record still stands today despite the fact only 52 matches were played in the U.S. in 1994, compared to the 64-match format that has been in play since 1998. The average match attendance of 68,991 in 1994 also established a new mark.

“Representing the USA Bid Committee, U.S. Soccer and our national effort to bring the world’s greatest sporting event to the United States is both a great privilege and a high responsibility for Fleishman-Hillard,” said Dave Senay, president and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard. “We share the absolute commitment of the U.S. Soccer family and the Bid Committee to return the FIFA World Cup™ tournament to the United States. We look forward to getting down to work.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation is the latest organization to join Fleishman-Hillard’s roster of sports clients, ranging from teams and leagues to corporate sponsors and associations. FH was named agency of record for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in January, and has a long history of supporting national and international sports sponsorships with brands including AT&T, EA SPORTS, Gatorade and Visa, among others.
The firm’s Sports Business practice group will spearhead its efforts on behalf of the USA Bid Committee.