Seattle Sounders FC Ad Campaign

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign

Seattle Sounders FC billboard.  Photography by John Kealtey

Seattle Sounders FC Billboard on the Ballard Bridge

There it is.  My very first billboard.  This is the inaugural season of the Seattle Sounders FC, the newest expansion team in MLS.  Seattle is getting fired up about our soccer team, and it’s fun to be a part that excitement.  The ad agency I worked with was Wexley School For Girls, which I always enjoy working with.

Now I know what some of you are thinking.  Did he paint those people in the background?  No.  That would have taken way too long.  We ended up using a cartoon modeling agency, and hired a few dozen cartoon models to stand in the background.  Ok, that’s a joke.  To give credit where credit is due,  Rachael Ludwig is the artist who created the background art.  I shot three scenes for this campaign.  Fan with a scarf, fan with a flag, and crazy Sounders fans banging on a drum.  The ads will be used for billboard, transit, print, and online.

The shoot was at Quest Field, home of the Seahawks and Sounders.  Since we were there, I figured I would maximize my time, and take care of some additional business.  I have been intending to try out for the Seahawks special teams, so they gave me a quick look.  Here are some pictures from my open tackle and field goal trials.  And a quick video from the photo shoot.

Lots of screaming in this video. Soccer fans are crazy!


nice! congrats on the billboard! looks like you might have a shot at the “special” team. :)

posted by Kim Hayes on 03.03.09 at 11:53 am

Congrats I know I will be seeing a lot of the ads.
After last year you may have a chance at the Seahawks team.

posted by Ray K on 03.03.09 at 1:29 pm

It looks like Gabe’s feet actualy left the ground when you tackled him. People at home are missing the cymbal crash sound effect. It was a nice touch.

Thanks again for shooting these – great collboration.

posted by Brian on 03.03.09 at 1:42 pm

Yes, the cymbal was pretty amazing! It added a certain theatrical flair as I put my back out. But it was worth it. I left it all out there on the field.

posted by John Keatley on 03.03.09 at 11:26 pm

Great stuff!

posted by GoSounders.com on 03.04.09 at 6:44 am

Great work!

Just in case you get to do anything like this again, you should know that with one phone call, you could have 50-100 screaming Sounders fans to fill the frame, all of whom would love to be on a Sounders billboard, even in cartoon caricature.

Some even come ready equipped with rave green mohawks.



posted by TGos on 03.04.09 at 7:52 am

Good stuff!

Hope you get to go to a game!

posted by KT on 03.04.09 at 11:10 am

Brilliant ad campaign. Great work here. I posted your blog on my Sounders Insider Facebook page and Twitter You should feel great about the work you have done and being part of launching the best franchise in MLS! : )



posted by Sounders Insider on 03.04.09 at 11:53 am

Thanks a lot guys. And thanks for linking to me on your blogs, Facebook, and Twitter! Go Sounders!

TGos: Thanks a lot for the offer. We actually did have some people from Emerald City Supporters at the shoot. You can see them in the video clip at the bottom. Scott Buschen was one of them I believe.

KT: I hope I get to go to a game too. Wow, I can’t believe how fast tickets are selling. I didn’t even think to ask about tickets when I was on this project. Oh well. Hopefully I will be able to find at least one at some point.

posted by John Keatley on 03.04.09 at 11:56 am

You might have a shot making the Special ED team. But your enthusiasm is undeniable. Well done. You have my vote. Where do I vote.

posted by Bertrot on 03.04.09 at 6:46 pm

My first billboard too! Everyone keeps calling me about seeing my mug around town. Thanks!

posted by Brad on 03.04.09 at 7:03 pm

Well, after watching the video I can see how the “Sounders” got their name!

posted by Dave on 03.06.09 at 7:01 am

[...] big congratulations to John Keatley who got his first billboard ad campaign up. Very cool to see one of your photos on a giant billboard, [...]

Hi. My name is Rachael Ludwig and I am actually the freelance Illustrator, who was hired by WSFG to illustrate the background on all of these ads. Just FYI there was not a “cartoon modeling agency” or “a few dozen cartoon models”. I actually created the background crowds for each of these ads by hand, using Photoshop and a Wacom. Please check out my website at http://www.rludwigdesign.com.
Thanks and great photography!

posted by Rachael Ludwig on 03.15.09 at 5:01 pm

[...] [...]

posted by Hot News » Sounders Fc on 03.22.09 at 6:14 am

[...] [...]

posted by Hot News » Seattle Sounders on 03.22.09 at 6:52 pm

[...] what I do”, and that always seems to bring about the best end product.  Same story with the Sounders FC ad campaign that I recently shot.  Go Sounders by they way! [...]

[...] have a couple of earlier posts about ad campaigns that I have shot with Wexley.  (Here) is the post about the Seattle Sounders FC billboard I shot earlier this year, and (here) is the [...]

[...] DIY culture down the road. Seattle’s initial success was the result of expensive marketing. John Keatley’s blog is an insider’s look that innocently enough details a stage of the campaign in which, since there [...]

Yeah, there was a posting made to all the ECS guys and an email was sent out before the season started, they only wanted about a dozen people. So I know most of the people in the ads, too bad I was busy that day.

posted by jed on 08.14.09 at 11:06 pm

[...] (Here) is a post with video and pictures from the Sounders billboard I shot last season. [...]

Leave a comment