This Past Friday, the United States Men’s National Team kicked-off their Road to the World Cup vs. old rivals Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, losing tragically on a late goal 2-1. The tough loss marks the first time USMNT has lost to Mexico in Mapfre Stadium in 15 years, breaking the hallowed “Dos a Cero” curse that had plagued Mexico for 8 separate occasions in over a decade of domestic dominance by the United States.
Despite the disappointing result, the lead-up and festivities surrounding this tense matchup in Ohio were befitting the magnitude of the game, with multiple sponsors rolling out impressive experiential footprints surrounding the stadium.
We were there, witnessing history made on the field and the exciting party that occurred off it. Check out some of the activations we saw in Columbus.
A partner of the rEvolution team, Continental Tire was an official member of the US Fan HQ Zone, bringing their multi-tent soccer experience to fans of both affiliations. Challenging folks to a competitive game of “Soccer Tic-tac-Toe”, lucky fans also got a chance to walk away with official branded “One Nation, One Team” Scarf – the ONLY brand allowed to distribute these scarfs as premiums at soccer activations.
One of the sponsors with vested interest in both teams, Coca Cola had a heavy presence in the FanHQ representing both USA and Mexico with their target shot challenges and fan rally stage. Powerade (a subsidiary of the beverage giant) was also on hand with their own accuracy challenge, giving fans of both affiliations their branded “Just a Kid From…” T-shirts.
The US Soccer Federation also took some major steps in their branded set up for this historic match-up. Providing a wide array of merchandise in the Fanzone as well as a branded DJ with player mock-ups for fan photos. This was also the first time USSF had launched a full-hotel takeover, converting the Marriott Renaissance into the official Fan Hotel Experience. Everything from lobby wrapping, to individual room keys was redesigned to focus special attention on the big game. Also of note, USSF launched a separate curated Instagram channel showcasing fan culture surrounding the nations team. Check out @Since1913 for an exclusive first look at the launch.
In Columbus for #USAvMEX, Presented by @ATT? #FindtheMNT for your chance to win a game ball: https://t.co/T7m7RnteSE pic.twitter.com/LZK4yoeA7h
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) November 10, 2016