In October Houston’s 2026 FIFA World Cup Bid Committee launched a campaigned called ‘The Spirit of Houston’ showcasing the city’s united, community-driven and innovative approach which sets it apart from other candidate cities bidding to United 2026 to co-host the tournament.
Inspired by Houston’s unique spirit, the campaign aims to showcase the area and demonstrate the community’s passion and how it is rallying together to deliver future-focused initiatives in support of the city’s bid to host the most popular sporting event in the world.
We are ALL IN on the #SpiritofHouston!
— Houston Outlaws (@Outlaws) October 6, 2021
The @Hou2026WorldCup Bid Committee have launched the #SpiritofHouston campaign, underlining the city’s united, community-driven and innovative approach that sets it apart from other candidate cities: https://t.co/B37oKwwLuW pic.twitter.com/F0a3ikNkX0
— fcbusiness Magazine (@fcbusiness) October 7, 2021
Coinciding with the reveal, several major organisations and individuals from the Houston area participated in a Spirit of Houston social ‘roadblock’ by sharing the campaign launch video on their digital channels.
That team has already brought several programs to life – including:
> Grow the Game: an initiative forged a partnership with the US Soccer Foundation and based around a fundraising campaign to build 30 mini-pitches and a pair of grassroots programs called ‘FreeKicks Soccer’ and ‘Girls Intro to Soccer’ with backing from Houston Dynamo and Dash owner Ted Segal
> Art of Soccer: a campaign which raised nearly $500,000 from more than 50 local businesses which purchased and painted oversized ceramic soccer balls for display around the city
> Gateway to the World Mural: a commission which saw seven local artists paint a 10,000-square-foot mural at one of Houston’s two international airports with support from the Houston Airports and City of Houston
> Human Rights Committee: created a committee to oversee issues and opportunities around human rights around the World Cup, holding a series of workshops where input and ideas were conveyed from nearly 100 local human rights stakeholders
> Sustainability Committee: worked with many of Houston’s leading energy companies to develop concepts for sustainability and carbon reduction in 2026
“Houston is not only a great city with a proud history of hosting major sporting events and has full operational capabilities for the FIFA World Cup, we are a city with spirit,” said Houston 2026 President Chris Canetti. “Through our deliberate actions, that spirit is already shining through, highlighting our region’s collective enthusiasm, commitment and investment in serving as a host city in 2026. We believe Houston’s unique spirit sets it apart from any other candidate city and ensures we will deliver a World Cup of the Future, in America’s City of the Future.”
Essentially, this is a city bid aiming to persuade the winning United 2026 bid team to choose the Texas city as one of the 16 venues for the tournament which will be held across Canada, Mexico and the USA
The United 2026 bid beat a rival bid by Morocco during a final vote at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow and will be the first World Cup since 2002 to be hosted by more than one nation and the first hosted by more than two countries.
The 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, the 23rd FIFA World Cup, will be contested by 48 national teams (expanded from the previous 32) of the member associations of FIFA.
It will be hosted jointly by 16 cities by the three North American host countries: Canada, Mexico and the USA.
The tournament will see 60 matches – including the quarterfinals, semi-finals and the final – hosted by the US, with 10 matches each hosted by Canada and Mexico.
The tournament will be the first hosted by three nations. This tournament will be the first to include 48 teams, expanded from 32.