Winner of the Pollie Award and the Reed Award
for “Best Public Affairs Campaign in the Nation.”
We’re at our best when the odds are long and the stakes are high.
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.
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.
– Miami Herald’s front page quote next to a photo of David Beckham
To win the campaign and defeat Beckham’s stadium, we needed to create an environment (on a tight budget) where we appeared to be everywhere…communicating in a disciplined way so that decision makers and opinion leaders truly believed we were everywhere – communicating with voters and persuading constituents.
We leveraged new technologies and launched innovative targeting that transformed new media and traditional media into a unified strategy that was more than the sum of the parts. And most important – we made sure that all of the elements sang together in a unified and sophisticated message strategy that demanded attention.
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.
“White, Nuckels bend it past Beckham”
– Times Herald headline, 6/2/2015
“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.
We were able to flip the County Commission vote with a carefully executed precision campaign of targeted television, cable, radio, digital, and phones.