Little Rock's Stone Ward Scores With U.S. Soccer Success

by Lee Hogan  on Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2014 10:51 am  

Millions of Americans watched Tuesday, overflowing with pride and angst, as their country defeated Ghana, 2-1, in the World Cup. But employees at Stone Ward of Little Rock, an advertising, marketing and public relations firm headquartered in the River Market District, were especially proud.

That's because Stone Ward, whose clients include Terminix, Sports Clips and Snap-on Tools, also represents the U.S. Soccer Federation, the governing body for amateur and professional soccer in the United States. For that reason, Tuesday was more hectic for Stone Ward employees than the average U.S. Soccer fan.

About half the day was devoted to creating graphics for social media for use during that night's game. The images included one to announce the team's starting 11, finalized about an hour before the game started, which received more than 4,900 retweets.

At about noon Tuesday, three members of Stone Ward's four-person office in Chicago headed to Grant Park, the site of a massive watch party, to make sure the graphics looked good on the banners and on the big screen.

Once the game started, the Stone Ward team headed to the U.S. Soccer Federation's Chicago headquarters to help with the social media effort. One employee downloaded photos from sideline photographers in Brazil, while others worked on creating graphics.

From Clint Dempsey's goal in the first minute, to John Brooks' header in the 86th minute to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory, the Stone Ward team worked side-by-side with U.S. Soccer's social media team.

"Anything that U.S. Soccer needs us to do, we want to make sure we're able to do that the instant they tell us," Kyle Floyd, creative director at Stone Ward, said, "so we really felt like we needed three team members in the room watching the game."

Floyd joked that one of the graphic designers said she looked forward to watching the game, which she recorded at home, after working throughout the live broadcast Tuesday.

The intense, hectic work schedule will continue for Stone Ward as long as the U.S. remains in the World Cup. Right now, the men's team has two games remaining before its future is decided.

"It's an interesting blessing and a curse because we know that the more the U.S. advances, the more our crazy schedule is going to keep on going," Floyd said. "That's what we desperately want, but we have to make sure our work schedule is planned out to allow for an influx of more work if they make it out of the group stage or to be able to redirect."

For now, Floyd said the agency is in a stage of rallying support before the team's next match Sunday against Portugal.



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