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Ad campaign against David Beckham MLS stadium at PortMiami wins award


When you beat David Beckham at something -- even away from the soccer field -- people take notice. So it was for the advertising firm hired to campaign against Beckham's idea to build a Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami. 

Joe Slade White, a New York-based firm, won a national advertising award in public affairs campaigning. The firm was hired last year by the Miami Seaport Alliance, a group led by Royal Caribbean Cruises, to produce anti-port stadium TV spots. One memorably featured a snail oozing along. "Ever get the feeling that traffic here in Miami can't get much worse?" it began.

There was no mention of Beckham, and no opposition to soccer in general. But polling and focus groups showed the alliance could make an impact by arguing the port was a bad location because of  downtown traffic.

Facing political headwinds, Beckham and his investors quickly took the port location off the table. For the ad firm, that was something to brag about. White noted the award in an email this week.

"David Beckham is used to winning at pretty much anything he does," White told the Miami Herald on Friday. "They thought they'd be able to put it wherever they wanted. I think they took it for granted. They were assured it was going to be easy."

Since having a second location rebuffed, Beckham and his investors have yet to settle on a stadium site.

If and when they do, though, they may want to know this: White's firm also created ads for a successful referendum 18 years ago in Washington state to build CenturyLink Field in Seattle.