NEW YORK (March 1, 2010) – Boxer Oscar De La Hoya – who won 10 different world titles spanning six different weight categories, as well as a 1992 Olympic gold medal – has formally accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its effort to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
Since retiring from boxing in 2009, De La Hoya has taken his business and philanthropic activities to new heights with the focus of improving the quality of life in Hispanic communities in his native Los Angeles and across the country. De La Hoya founded Golden Boy Enterprises in 1999 and has since invested in several Spanish-language newspapers in major markets across the country, a variety of consumer products, a publishing group featuring leading boxing publications and various urban development projects in Latino communities. In 2008, De La Hoya became part-owner of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer.
“Oscar is known around the world as a champion boxer, but he’s an equally impressive champion for Hispanic issues across our nation,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “In addition to his honorable philanthropic endeavors, Oscar is a passionate soccer fan who is contributing to the growth of the sport in this country with his involvement in MLS and the Dynamo. We are thrilled to have him as part of the USA Bid, as we continue to make our case.”
Founded in 1995, the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation is bringing a better quality of life to thousands of East Los Angeles residents annually. Today the foundation and its staff support the Cecilia Gonzales De La Hoya Cancer Center and the Oscar De La Hoya Children’s Medical Center, both located at the White Memorial Hospital, and the Oscar De La Hoya High School, which received a $3.5 million donation from De La Hoya in 2008.
“Thanks to boxing, I’ve experienced first-hand how sports can promote tolerance, equality, and social integration while allowing people to realize their biggest dreams,” said De La Hoya. “Boxing provided me the opportunity to travel the world and through those travels I can attest to the worldwide popularity of football and its power to be a positive force for social change. Being able to join the USA Bid Committee in our mission to bring the World Cup back to the U.S. is an honor.”
A native of Los Angeles, De La Hoya established Golden Boy Promotions in 2001, the first national boxing promotional company owned by a Hispanic. Golden Boy Promotions is one of boxing’s most active and respected promoters, presenting shows in packed venues around the United States on networks such as HBO, HBO Latino, TeleFutura and ESPN.
De La Hoya announced his retirement from professional boxing on April 14, 2009, concluding his 16-year pro career with a record of 39-6 including 30 knockouts. Competing in six different weight classes during the course of his career, “The Golden Boy” defeated 17 world champions and captured 10 world titles. De La Hoya was a decorated amateur boxer as well, recording a record of 223-6 with 163 knockouts that concluded with his gold medal victory for the USA at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. Named the top-rated Pound-for-Pound fighter in the world by Ring Magazine in 1997, De La Hoya was named to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008.
The multi-talented De La Hoya released a Grammy-nominated, self-titled CD with tracks in both English and Spanish in 2000 and authorized a children’s picture book titled Super Oscar, written in both English and Spanish, that won the 2007 Latino Book Awards Best Bilingual Children’s Picture Book of the Year. De La Hoya published his autobiography, American Son, in 2008.
The United States, Australia, England, Japan and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Indonesia, Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022. Mexico withdrew its bid in September. Following that announcement, CONCACAF issued a public endorsement for the United States bid in November that pledged the full support of soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
All candidates must have their bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24-member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments on December 2, 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
De La Hoya joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, MLS founding investor Philip Anschutz, Univision CEO Joe Uva, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
The USA Bid Committee’s efforts have earned the enthusiastic support of President Barack Obama, who in April 2009 reached out to FIFA – the world’s governing body of soccer – to endorse the goal of bringing the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.
On Monday, July 27, 2009, Obama and Blatter met at the White House to discuss the U.S. bid and other soccer-related topics. The meeting was marked by Blatter confirming his invitation for President Obama to be his guest at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. President Obama has expressed his interest in attending the event pending availability on his schedule.
Last October, the USA Bid Committee released a study conducted by an independent consulting firm that estimates a conservative domestic economic impact of five billion dollars if the United States is chosen to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The findings of the study indicate that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today’s dollar value.
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE INC.:
The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24-member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Univision CEO Joe Uva and Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. For more information, visit goUSAbid.com.