June 10, 2010

GoUSABid lays foundation for U.S. Soccer and World Cup

While the eyes of the world will turn to South Africa this week for the start of the World Cup, the USA Bid Committee has been working hard to ensure the eyes of the world will be on the U.S. come 2018 or 2022.

For a study on a website and an initiative done well, simply take a look at GoUSAbid.com, created by the USA Bid Committee. It is a separate entity from the U.S. Soccer Federation but it is working on behalf of the USSF.

The goal of the committee is to get FIFA to award the World Cup to the U.S. in either 2018 or 2022 (FIFA will award both in one round of bidding, an unusually efficient approach). The goal of the site is get people actively involved, grow their fan base, increase their database of names and capitalize on the surge in interest that comes with a World Cup.

GoUSAbid.com is a well-designed, well-planned, well-executed effort. It has already prompted more than 450,000 people to sign a petition to bring the tournament back to the U.S. (which hosted the tournament in 1994), a decision FIFA will make in December.

The site is smartly layered with action items for users. In addition to the petition, there are entry points for telling a friend, sharing a story, donating money, or supporting one of 18 U.S. “host” cities, all leading to more pathways for users to be engaged. And it offers much of the content in Spanish, too.

The bid committee’s executive director, David Downs, and his staff deserve a lot of credit for their work. And by enlisting celebrities for their executive board, including Bill Clinton, Oscar De La Hoya, Henry Kissinger, Spike Lee and Brad Pitt, they’ve added star power to their cause.

As with any site, it has some flaws. The user-generated content isn’t accessible. The thousands of photos they once displayed via a Cooliris gallery are no longer on the site. The social media badges aren’t prominent and their participant numbers reflect that (just 3,700 followers on Twitter and 30,000 who “like” their Facebook page, awfully low numbers for a site that’s garnered nearly a half million petition sign-ups).

But those aren’t big problems. And with the World Cup about to start, the numbers could significantly increase across the board. The challenge for both the bid committee and U.S. Soccer will be to develop more concrete goals for its fan engagement, something that will help carry the momentum once the World Cup ends and even after the bid decision is made in December.

It’s been a promising and inspired start. U.S. Soccer would do well to build on what the USA Bid Committee has started.

U.S. Soccer
Conversations in soccer -- David Downs of GoUSABid {The Original Winger}

No comments:

Post a Comment