By G. Hopkins
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Additional resources for Star-Spangled Soccer: The Selling, Marketing and Management of Soccer in the USA
The girls that flooded the fields to play the game represented tremendous current buying power but also represented future mothers and parents who would go on to control and influence household spending for decades to come. Brands are built on the allegiance of the young and soccer had millions of young girls (and their mothers) engaged every week. While dad was off coaching football, helping fielders stay awake at baseball or organizing a hockey fight, mom was on the soccer fields with her kids and in particular her daughter: a daughter who had no place on the “football” field, the baseball diamond or the hockey rink for these were the domain of alpha American boys and fathers urging them to “skate tougher”, throw stronger or hit harder.
But without a doubt, the one thing you can take to the bank – and the Olympics does every four years – is that the American flag sells, and sells big! Soccer as such had found its key differentiation, found the one thing that it could sell that could not be ambushed. It wasn’t power hits or touchdowns, it wasn’t three point throws or home runs and it wasn’t cracker jacks or popcorn. How could it ever dare to compete with these bastions of American culture? com - licensed to University of California, Los Angeles - Biol Chem - PalgraveConnect - 2011-04-14 34 the Star-Spangled Banner that was the American flag.
Alan Rothenberg was the new President of US Soccer and while not yet CEO of World Cup 1994 (a post he initially gave to Chuck Cale, a political friend and a significant influence in his election run, but took back in 1991) he was the “defacto” personality and leader of all things soccer in the USA. There were no arguments and no lack of clarity. You either agreed with his vision and methods or you did not – if you did not you were out. LeTellier, the legal architect of the World Cup bid and a man who literally put his house on the line, was justifiably given the role of Chief Operating Officer while Hank Steinbrecher, one of the key players in the election “coup”, was made General Secretary of the United States Soccer Federation.