The 2018 US Soccer Presidential Election was rife with conflict.
Sports Fans Coalition is no stranger to the underbelly of American sports. However, they weren’t prepared for the shadiness of the 2018 US Soccer Presidential Election. When they discovered the conflicts of interest, mistreatment of women, and exclusionary practices, SFC had no choice but to get involved.
Only a few members of US Soccer are delegates. Unfortunately, those delegates aren’t democratically elected, and the election process is far from transparent. Without transparency, we knew that influencing self-interested members of the voting body would be difficult. So, we launched an extensive paid media campaign. We pushed our message of change by using paid social media, website banner ads, and with an earned media strategy. Soccer fans, who felt similar to us, shared our digital content generating more than nine million times impressions.
However, we believe that while digital advocacy is great, sometimes it still needs to come offline. We wrote formal letters to both US Soccer and FIFA asking for specific measures to be taken before the election to protect the integrity of the sport. We also purchased billboards in Orlando, FL, the location of the election.
We successfully eliminated the lead "insider" candidate and when Carlos Cordeiro emerged as the winner, he expressly stated his intent to address issues we had raised. Sports Fans Coalition had helped to bring the need for reform into the spotlight and continues to push U.S. soccer leadership in the right direction.
You can learn more about the campaign by listening to Brian when he appeared on the 3four3 podcast.