The 1994 World Cup with Adidas: An Opportunity To Market New Products

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Wells, G. Robin
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During my Freshman year I laughed at my Junior and Senior friends for desperately trying to find the perfect job for their Senior Individualized Project. It was not until I better understood the concept of a liberal arts education at Kalamazoo College that I realized how important this Senior Project really is. Fortunately, when my Junior year came around, I had a great idea for an internship. The question was, whether or not this internship existed; and, if so, would I get it? I ended up getting this "dream-job" and worked for the sports manufacturer Adidas as a public relations assistant and office manager during the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Coming from a soccer background, I was very excited to be a part of this prestigious tournament. I was employed through the Adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. My supervisor, Mr. Gunter Pfau, was the head of Public Relations for the soccer business unit. Originally, I was supposed to work during the World Cup, in the summer of 1994, only, but Mr. Pfau kindly invited me to help at the launch of some new products in Las Vegas in December of 1993. To witness the production of this terrific show, which was being held as a part of the "Final Draw" for the World Cup, was almost interesting and exciting as the World Cup itself. It also gave me the opportunity to get to know my future co-workers before the "real" internship. My World Cup experience lasted from Tuesday, June 17 until Monday, July 18, 1994. It was undoubtedly the best work experience of my life. On the first day, the whole Adidas team of about 30 people met in Chicago for an organizational meeting. The "Operation: World Cup" was being discussed. The next day, I flew out to Dallas to set up the Adidas World Cup headquarters at the Four Seasons Resort. I worked there for four weeks as the assistant to the office manager. After the second stage of the tournament, we moved the office into the Ritz-Carlton Huntington in Pasadena. The final games were held in the Rose Bowl. My own work was not really the most exciting part .. of the internship, since I was doing regular office work without too much responsibility. What made my internship so interesting and unforgettable was watching the work of my supervisors. I learned so much about promotions and marketing by simply talking and listening to them. I was fascinated. The highlight of the internship came on the last day of the World Cup. I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the World Cup final between Italy and Brazil. Unfortunately, neither team played for Adidas. This was only one of nine World Cup games I saw in person. The next day, Monday, July 18, I returned to Kalamazoo as the happiest person alive. I had found my perfect SIP!
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