Pereira & O’Dell Wins Women’s Pro Soccer Account

Women’s Professional Soccer tapped Pereira & O’Dell to handle integrated marketing and strengthen ties with its fan base through social media.

Though WPS is a fledgling league, having launched less than a year ago, Twitter and Facebook already loom large in its strategy. Its Twitter account has amassed more than 175,000 followers. On Facebook its base of support is comparatively modest, at 16,000 fans.

In addition to social media, the online assignment includes digital media planning. San Francisco-based Pereira & O’Dell will also handle print, radio, and TV. The pitch involved three agencies.

Women’s Pro Soccer was founded early this year as the top-most league in the U.S. It had seven teams during its inaugural season, and is adding two more in 2010. It’s now busy promoting those new additions — the Philadelphia Independence and the Atlanta Beat — and building buzz for the player draft now underway.

According to the agency, WPS is eager to expand its fan base to new demographics in the coming year. “They don’t want tween girls being the whole fan base,” a spokesperson said.

Pereira & O’Dell has tended to favor upstart clients with limited budgets and brands that are “on the cusp,” she added. Roster clients in this vein include Yes to Carrots, a seller of skin and hair products, and protein sports drink brand Muscle Milk.

It also has at least one very large client in The University of Phoenix. In recent years, the online continuing education giant has frequently ranked among the top buyers of display advertising, according to comScore.

Rachel Epstein, director of marketing for WPS, said in a statement, “We want to market WPS in a way that really lights a fire within our core fan base of youth soccer players, their families and passionate soccer fans. We feel the unique ideas from Pereira & O’Dell will energize that core audience while also driving awareness and buzz for the League in the broader, secondary fan bases.”

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