U.S. Soccer Federation, Chicago, sold marketing rights, including those for the U.S. World Cup and Olympic soccer teams, to sports marketing agency International Management Group, Cleveland, and Nike. Terms weren't disclosed. It's estimated the 12-year pact will generate $500 million for the federation. Others vying for the rights were incumbent Octagon Group, an Interpublic Group of Cos. unit; ISL Marketing; and Interforever. IMG will handle U.S. Soccer's sponsorship sales, TV programming and licensing; Nike owns the apparel and footwear licenses to the U.S. national men's and women's soccer teams, but will also play a role in deciding overall marketing strategy for the sport. IMG subsidiary Trans World International is guaranteeing increased TV exposure for U.S. soccer with five games a year on broadcast TV, 12 games a year on cable TV and a syndicated youth-oriented TV show.
Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.