Women's Soccer Initiative, Inc.

Women’s Soccer Initiative Inc. (WSII) is a non-profit organization committed to enabling sports participation and healthy active lifestyles for girls and women. WSII is specifically charged with creating a new and viable business model for bringing back professional women’s soccer in North America.
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Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) launches social networking site

Exclusive Olympics content from U.S. players and WPS coaches at fans.womensprosoccer.com

Brandi Chastain to pick winner of WPS “Top Town Video Challenge”

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 5, 2008) – On the eve of the U.S. Women’s first soccer match in the 2008 Olympic Games, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) has launched a social networking site at http://fans.womensprosoccer.com, giving soccer fans around the world an opportunity to interact with each other while viewing exclusive content such as live chats, reporter commentary, and player blogs. The theme? “Beijing Now. WPS Next.”

“All eyes are currently on Beijing, as the world’s greatest domestic and international soccer players go for the Gold,” said Tonya Antonucci, WPS Commissioner. “It’s only fitting that WPS give fans worldwide a place to come together and rally around these Olympic athletes before many of them put their talent on display professionally in our League next April.

“From the beginning, we have said that WPS will be unique in that we will provide Fans unparalleled interaction with our players and each other; this site is the first step in fulfilling that promise,” added Antonucci.

Among the site’s highlights is the “Top Town Video Challenge,” featuring special guest judge Brandi Chastain, former U.S. Women’s National Team member and star defender for the WUSA San Jose CyberRays. Now through Tuesday, August 26th, fans are encouraged to visit http://fans.womensprosoccer.com and submit their home videos explaining why their city is the “Top Town” when it comes to soccer – either as a 2009 inaugural WPS market (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.), a future city (including Philadelphia, slated for a 2010 expansion team), or a prospective WPS city (such as San Diego or Atlanta, top candidates for near-term League expansion). Chastain will choose the winner, who will be awarded an all-expense-paid trip for two to an upcoming WPS event.

“What I love about soccer is the passion — the intensity, the spirit, the celebrations. I can’t wait to see fans’ videos expressing that same zeal as they aim to prove that they’re living in America’s greatest soccer community, “ said Chastain, a native of San Jose, Calif. “Like soccer, I expect this to be a competition filled with tricky moves and surprises, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of picking the winner.”

In addition to the “Top Town” video challenge, the WPS Social Networking site will supply fans with news and content that is unavailable anywhere else. Hosted by Ning.com, site features will include:

  • Live online chats with Tony DiCicco – current head coach of the WPS Boston Breakers who led the USWNT to the first-ever Olympic gold medal awarded in women’s soccer in 1996 – during each U.S. Women’s National Team game beginning with the match against Japan on Saturday, August 9 at 4:45am ET
  • Regular blogs from U.S. players Cat Whitehill and Leslie Osborne, who will provide direct access to the U.S. Women’s National Team (including Osborne’s pre-recorded video interviews with her teammates) and their own perspective on missing the 2008 Olympic Games due to ACL injuries
  • Beijing “behind the scenes” blogs from Chicago Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes and General Manager Marcia McDermott
  • Olympic soccer commentary from ESPN.com’s Graham Hays
  • Links to worldwide coverage of each game including post-game match reports, news and video highlights
  • Interactive poll questions and discussion forums
  • WPS and U.S. Soccer event calendars, including details of the League’s post-Olympics allocation of the U.S. Women’s National Team, international draft, and player combines

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)

The mission of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is to be the premier women’s soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured. Play kicks off in the spring of 2009, with WPS teams based in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league will expand to eight teams by 2010 with the inclusion of Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.

Contact:
Jennifer Peters
Fleishman-Hillard Sports Business
314/422-9305 (cell)
jennifer.peters@fleishman.com