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Isaac Lee Praises Fusion’s ‘Comprehensive, Truly Distinct’ World Cup Coverage

Fusion World Cup celebrationFusion staffers gathered in Miami last night to celebrate the end of the World Cup and welcome back the team who traveled to Brazil to lead the network’s coverage, including “Soccer Gods” hosts Nando Vila and Simon Carr and VP of news Mark Lima (pictured). In a note to staffers yesterday afternoon, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee called the World Cup coverage “comprehensive, truly distinct, and full of personality across our television and digital platforms”:

Nando and Simon did a terrific job anchoring our coverage in primetime with “The Soccer Gods” live from Copacabana Beach every night.  As two avid fans, they brought a level of passion, excitement, and humor to our coverage that struck exactly the right tone for Fusion. While they shined in front of the camera, it wouldn’t have been possible without Zach Rigg and Pablo Sanchis behind the scenes making them look good!

Fusion not only delivered a unique take on the action unfolding on the pitch every day, but it was the stories from the streets of Brazil that helped us stand out. From Mariana van Zeller watching the Brazil v Chile match in a favela with one of Brazil’s largest, most violent drug gangs to Pedro Andrade scoring interviews with some of the biggest soccer stars of all time includingPele and Marta. Jorge Ramos and Leon Krauze also contributed their unique insights both on “Soccer Gods” and by live-blogging several matches on Soccer.Fusion.net.

With the World Cup over and the midterm elections on the horizon, Fusion is building up its booking unit. Capital New York’s Alex Weprin has more on the new hires that will lead the effort to secure interviews with big-name guests.

Lee’s full note, after the jump.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Isaac Lee (Fusion)
Date: Thu, Jul 17, 2014
Subject: Fusion Scores with World Cup!
To: All Fusion

Hola Fusion,

Over the course of 31 days Fusion took a global event like the World Cup and covered it in a way that was comprehensive, truly distinct, and full of personality across our television and digital platforms.

Nando and Simon did a terrific job anchoring our coverage in primetime with “The Soccer Gods” live from Copacabana Beach every night. As two avid fans, they brought a level of passion, excitement, and humor to our coverage that struck exactly the right tone for Fusion. While they shined in front of the camera, it wouldn’t have been possible without Zach Rigg and Pablo Sanchis behind the scenes making them look good!

Fusion not only delivered a unique take on the action unfolding on the pitch every day, but it was the stories from the streets of Brazil that helped us stand out. From Mariana van Zeller watching the Brazil v Chile match in a favela with one of Brazil’s largest, most violent drug gangs to Pedro Andrade scoring interviews with some of the biggest soccer stars of all time including Pele and Marta. Jorge Ramos and Leon Krauze also contributed their unique insights both on “Soccer Gods” and by live-blogging several matches on Soccer.Fusion.net.

On the digital side with an exceptional live-blogging platform and key partnerships that allowed us to harness the power of the social web, we proved our ability to deliver a unique second-screen experience for our audience. The numbers back it up — we saw over 50% of the traffic to Soccer.Fusion.net come from mobile and over a third of the traffic was consistently driven by social media. Throughout the month we made great strides building a community around our “The Soccer Gods” franchise, increasing the social following of @SoccerGods by over 1000 percent and found the show’s followers were actively engaged at levels that surpassed all our benchmarks.

Most importantly we learned a lot from our experiment with the microsite, which will help us tremendously as we look to build and expand our digital offerings in the coming months.

Additionally, the World Cup was a great opportunity for us to provide added value to our parent companies’ coverage of the tournament. From soccer to dancing the Passinho, Pedro Andrade showed viewers of “Good Morning America” all Brazil has to offer. The Soccer Gods took over the @GMA Twitter account during major matches. Both Univision Deportes and ABC News embedded aspects of our live-blog on their sites. Simon Carr did nearly 60 hits with ABC News Radio affiliates throughout the cup to promote the Soccer Gods.

​​We were also able to gain additional exposure by partnering with “Entertainment Tonight.” Nando did over a half-a-dozen hits with “ET,” the number one entertainment news​-​magazine, to talk about everything from the performance of the U.S. team. to conspiracy theories and celebrity sightings.

It was very interesting to see a study showing that nearly a quarter of young adults were not only interested and paying attention to the World Cup, but were following it closely. As soccer continues to gain popularity in the U.S., Fusion will continue to provide an irreverent, nuanced, perspective on the sport. “The Soccer Gods” are taking a brief hiatus and will return to their normal timeslot, Mondays at 10:00 p.m. starting August 11.

Much of our coverage would not have been possible without the careful planning and coordination of Mark Lima, who oversaw our television coverage and worked closely with our parents for much of the past year coordinating logistics and managing our access.

I hope everyone will raise a glass tonight to celebrate all we accomplished over the past month. Next up is the midterm elections and I welcome everyone’s input and thoughts in how we can bring Fusion’s bold, irreverent voice to our coverage of politics.

Abrazo,

Isaac

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