Winner: Reed Award for “Best Public Affairs Campaign” for Successful Effort to Defeat David Beckham’s MLS Stadium Proposal
LAS VEGAS – Joe Slade White & Company took home the Reed Award for “Best Public Affairs Campaign” in the nation in 2014. JSW also won the Reed Award for “Best Spanish-Language Public Affairs Advertisement” for their work with the Miami Seaport Alliance.
Find out more about their successful campaign to defeat David Beckham’s soccer stadium at Port Miami below:
Soccer Superstar David Beckham is used to winning at everything he does. So when Beckham announced he would bring Major League Soccer to Miami – but only if he and his backers were allowed to build a stadium on Miami’s waterfront – he assumed he’d get his way. Beckham amassed a gold-standard lobbying team and was assured it was a done deal. With only weeks left, we were hired to defeat Beckham’s stadium proposal in soccer crazy Miami.
“OUTMANEUVERED” shouted the one-word headline on the front page of the Miami Herald next to a photo of David Beckham after the Commission voted 11 to 1 to defeat his stadium proposal. Despite all the arm-twisting and the backing of the Miami-Dade County Mayor, Beckham and his backers were handed a shocking defeat they never saw coming. In just 14 days, we were able to flip the County Commission vote with a carefully executed precision campaign of targeted television, cable, radio, digital, and phones.
We knew we could not be against Major League Soccer in Miami. But research showed we could make the case against Beckham’s stadium location on 3 fronts: increasing already snarled downtown traffic, giving away unfair tax subsidies, and hurting the local economy and jobs by disrupting Port operations for cruise and cargo ships. Facing incredible odds, we were able to defeat David Beckham by carefully targeting each of our core messages to commissioners and moving them one vote at a time.