Thursday, February 25, 2010

Volunteering in San Francisco

By Oumar Ganame (SMBA '11)

This week I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco with Soccer United Marketing (SUM) for the Mexico vs. Bolivia soccer game at Candlestick Park. SUM is the preeminent Soccer Marketing firm in North America and works closely with the USSF, the Mexican National Team, and the MLS to organize numerous high-quality soccer games here on U.S. soil. SUM’s biggest draw, the Mexican National Team, regularly draws sell-out crowds all over the U.S. as it continues its preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

My main involvement was with SUM’s Football Fiesta event outside the stadium. For four hours before game time, sponsors have tents and displays outside the stadium to draw in fans. These sponsors include Home Depot, AT&T, Coca Cola, NAPA Auto Parts, Budweiser, Makita, Adidas, Cacique, and Wrigley. Telemundo and the San Jose Earthquakes also set up stands for the event. While miserable weather claimed most of Tuesday’s set-up, game day turned out to be a much more pleasant affair. Thousands of fans flooded into the Fiesta for some incredible giveaways and even more impressive interactive events. Fans that strayed away from their tailgates had an incredible experience at the Fiesta thanks to the sponsors.

I was somewhat amazed to see the level of excitement (and sometimes chaos) of the event. Mexican National Team soccer games are unlike any sporting event in the United States. Fans are extremely passionate about their team and that enthusiasm carries from the tailgates, through the Fiesta, and into the stadium. Noisemakers and drums are commonplace and the level of excitement fills the entire arena.

Once the game kicked off the two teams looked to put on an amazing show. But with the Mexican National Team scoring early, they quickly proved to be the far superior team. By the 20th minute the team had already built up a 4-0 lead which it carried into the half. The early success only riled up the crowd even more and the team finished with a 5-0 win. SUM’s first event of the year was clearly a huge success and upcoming events at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles and at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte should be just as popular.

No comments:

Post a Comment