Topic: US National Team
Two days away...promotion for the Cup is in full swing. No more "coming this summer..." in the ads; we have dates. Times - both Eastern and Central - are being tossed around. Soccer Christmas is here.
One thing that has to make you optimistic about soccer's growing status in the US is the fact that ESPN and Nike are throwing their substantial marketing power behind it. With that, here are some of the best promotional videos for this year's Cup.
As usual, Nike has made the best commercial. Not quite as good as "Take It To The Next Level", but still pretty bad-ass. The down-on-his-luck Wayne Rooney part has been cut out of the TV version, which sucks; that's by far the best part.
ESPN's main commercial is pretty great, too. Bono lends credibility to any project (he's the white Morgan Freeman), and they capture the unparalelled global scope of the World Cup in this ad.
Also two ESPN ads featuring US National Team-ers. I think they're both pretty funny.
This "I Scored a Goal" series from ESPN is pretty amazing: it gives the stories of all 35 living people who have scored a goal in a World Cup final. Great for people who don't know a lot about the history of the World Cup.
Pretty much everything on US Soccer's multimedia page (especially the Studio 90 segments) is worth a look. They do a great job of getting access to the players; I can't imagine the players from any other country (save maybe Australia) being willing to participate in this type of thing. When soccer is big in the US in 50 years, we'll miss the days when our national team players were pretty much just a normal bunch of guys.
The World Cup has an official anthem. It's by K'naan, a Somali-Canadian (tough break, Phil Collins: I'm sure you assumed that you would be writing the anthem for the first World Cup in Africa. But they decided to go with an actual African). When I heard "official World Cup anthem", I was prepared to hate it. But I don't hate this, not even a little.