Philips is so convinced that its technologies and other capabilities will help improve the overall fan experience that it announced today a goal to help the Federation significantly increase the general fan base over the course of the sponsorship.
"More than a sponsorship, this is an innovative venture for U.S. Soccer," said Dan Flynn, Secretary General of U.S. Soccer. "Both Philips and U.S. Soccer share the mission to continue to improve the soccer experience in the USA. By focusing on the fans, Philips will have the chance to share its innovations and technologies, which will enable us to create the kind of tools that attract new spectators and players to the game."
Focus on Fans
To engage fans and draw them to the sport of soccer, Philips and U.S. Soccer plan to initiate a series of consumer programs. The centerpiece of the effort will be the development of a more dynamic, new U.S. Soccer website featuring cutting-edge technologies, as well as player statistics, game calendars, photos, chats and polls. Philips will also sponsor the "goal cam" to provide state-of-the-art on-the-field coverage at U.S. Men's and Women's National Team games.
To launch its sponsorship and involve soccer fans at the outset, Philips announced the debut of a national contest to identify a cheer to be used at all national games, similar to the traditional "chants" used by national teams of other countries. Entry forms, rules and other contest details for the Philips / U.S. Soccer Stadium Chant Contest are posted on the U.S. Soccer website.
"Philips' mission is to help make things better for our customers and consumers, many of whom are soccer enthusiasts," said Mark Kerray, Head of Global Brand Management for Royal Philips Electronics. "Through our new affiliation with U.S. Soccer, Philips will use its heritage in technology to provide this core constituency with up-to-the-minute information, both at home and in the soccer stadiums. As one of the world's largest mass-market sports, soccer has been at the center of our global sponsorship strategies and investments for many years. In the United States, soccer's popularity has increased exponentially due to avid participation at all levels and the dedication of organizing bodies like U.S. Soccer. We see an exceptional opportunity for Philips to build its brand in North America through supporting the growth of U.S. Soccer, its fans and the sport itself."
The Philips / U.S. Soccer Agreement
The agreement with U.S. Soccer completes Philips' activation of a global sponsorship platform in the sport of soccer. Philips' successful, long-term sponsorships in soccer worldwide were the basis of the strategic decision to extend and broaden its relationship with the sport into the United States, where soccer continues to be one of the fastest growing participatory sports.
Philips will receive exclusive commercial rights on the categories of Consumer Electronics, Lighting/Light Bulbs and Lamps, Men's and Women's Electric Shavers and Electric Kitchen Appliances. The deal will also allow Philips the ability to leverage media exposure through on-air logo identification, field boards and 30-second commercial spots on 16 annually televised U.S. Soccer matches broadcast on ABC and ESPN networks.
The Philips brand will be featured in combination with the Nike brand, the exclusive kit manufacturer, on U.S. Men's and Women's National Team training kits, delivering unique exposure for the Philips brand alongside the Nike logo. The Philips-branded Nike training kits are worn by both the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams when they are in camp, at training sessions, traveling to and from matches, and at related press conferences.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
U.S. Soccer National Team Victories
The U.S. Men's National Soccer Team is off to their best start ever in World Cup qualifying this year, while the U.S. Women are coming off two highly active years and are playing fewer matches in 2001 as the Women's United Soccer Association begins play. On Saturday, the U.S. Men continued their unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying with well-earned 0-0 draw in hostile conditions in Jamaica. The result pushed the U.S. to 3-0-1 in their 10-game final round qualifying group heading into the team's match against Trinidad & Tobago in Foxboro, Mass., on Wednesday (live on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET).
About Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $34.9 billion (EUR 37.9 billion) in 2000. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 219,400 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at www.news.philips.com.
In the United States, Philips has a significant presence in both the consumer and professional marketplaces, contributing $8.4 billion (24 percent) of the company's 2000 worldwide sales. Philips has also been an active investor in the United States. Within the last two years, the company has spent more than $5.8 billion to acquire all or major interests in eight U.S. companies.