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U.S. Soccer Unveils "Turn US On" Campaign


CHICAGO (Thursday, May 13, 1999) - The United States Soccer Federation today unveiled its new "Turn US On" campaign, a fully-integrated, grassroots marketing program designed to increase television viewership among soccer participants by providing detailed information and timely reminders on when and where the U.S. National Teams are playing on national television.

The "Turn US On" campaign, which was born out of listening to fans across the nation, is designed to provide a free service to all soccer fans and help unite the soccer community. As a highlight of this service, "Turn US On" will distribute inside information about upcoming games, including the latest scoop on the competition and previews from coaches and players.

"One of the goals I have strived for as president of the Federation is to increase awareness and support of our National Teams through better communication throughout the vast U.S. Soccer family," said Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, President of U.S. Soccer. "Everyone knows we have strong participation numbers in our sport, but that doesn't always translate to TV and fan-base numbers. This type of program will help capture those numbers."

The main objectives of the "Turn US On" campaign are to:

a) increase televison viewership within the U.S. Soccer family,
b) increase television ratings for broadcast partners and sponsors, and
c) to convey a sense of ownership and pride in supporting all the U.S. National Teams.

While the "Turn US On" title speaks directly to potential viewers as to when and where they can see U.S. Soccer on national TV, it also focuses on an "us vs. them" theme, both on the field, and also in terms of a viewer's choice to choose soccer over other sports in relation to television competition.

"A key to getting the soccer family together is simple awareness and consistent communication of what we need them to support," said U.S. Soccer Chief Marketing Officer Mark Noonan. "As a call to action for our fans, 'Turn US On' was created as a grassroots movement among the millions of registered coaches, players and their families. Our goal is to begin converting the masses into fans and consumers of U.S. Soccer and our products."

"Turn US On" will be accompanied by a distinctive new logo, similar in style to U.S. Soccer's blue-and-red corporate logo. The logo features the words "Turn" and "On!" sandwiched around the familiar "U.S." shooting ball logo, with the "O" in "On!" resembling a small TV set with a miniature U.S. Soccer logo.

The initial launch of "Turn US On" will involve correspondence with U.S. Soccer's vast membership, introducing the program and outlining its objectives. The second step of the launch involves amassing a database of e-mail addresses that can be regularly notified about upcoming televised national team matches.

The "Turn US On" e-mails will go out 10-14 days before a match, with a follow-up reminder coming 2-3 days before a telecast. These e-mails will also include messages from players and coaches pointing out what to look for in an upcoming match.

The launch will also involve placing the "Turn US On" logo icon on the U.S. Soccer website at www.us-soccer.com, enticing fans to sign up for the program electronically.

"We are planning a strong promotional push into the summer for the 'Turn US On' campaign," said Noonan. "By getting our message out there with field boards, banners, handouts and public address announcements, I think we can create a strong presence for this program. And hopefully 'Turn U.S. On' will become a part of the U.S. Soccer fan vernacular."

The campaign is to be implemented across the next few few weeks, with special focus on two important upcoming games that will be nationally televised. First, the U.S. Women's National Team will take on Canada in their "send-off" match at Portland's Civic Stadium, live on ABC at 11:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, June 6. And second, the U.S. Men's National Team is set to take on Argentina in a full-international at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, June 13, with ABC broadcasting the game live at 1 p.m. ET.

Following is the official "Turn US On" logo and a schedule of upcoming nationally broadcast U.S. National Team games:

U.S. Women's National Team - Nike Road to Pasadena
DateMatch-upLocationKickoffTV
5/22/99U.S. WNT vs. BrazilCitrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)7:30 p.m. ETESPN2
6/6/99U.S. WNT vs. CanadaCivic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)11:00 p.m. PTABC

U.S. Men's National Team - Friendly
DateMatch-upLocationKickoffTV
6/13/99U.S. MNT vs. ArgentinaRFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.)1:00 p.m. ETABC

U.S. Women's National Team - 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup
DateMatch-upLocationKickoffTV
6/19/99U.S. WNT vs. DenmarkGiants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)3:00 p.m. ETABC
6/24/99U.S. WNT vs. NigeriaSoldier Field (Chicago, Ill.)7:30 p.m. CTESPN
6/27/99U.S. WNT vs. North KoreaFoxboro Stadium (Boston, Mass.)7:00 p.m. ETESPN

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