During the summer of 2021, I was a Marketing Intern at The National Sports Center. From the first day of my internship, everyone at the NSC would talk about what an incredible experience Target USA CUP would be for the interns (and everyone else at the tournament!), but I had no idea what this tournament would truly look like, especially during the pandemic. Lucky for me, all of the other interns and staff were incredible and made USA CUP an experience that I will never forget.
Anticipation for the event slowly built in the weeks leading up to the tournament when the Marketing team would meet to plan content. My favorite projects that I worked on leading up to the tournament were the “Navigate Parking and Field Signage at USA CUP” and “These All American Cup teams are ready for USA CUP!” videos along with the Featured Teams blogs. The Featured Teams stories were my favorite overall because I got to connect with lots of teams before the tournament, and it was so much fun to see them at USA CUP and to follow their progress, especially Genesis FC! Prior to the tournament, I had a blast designing food truck decals; shooting and editing videos; writing blogs to promote the tournament; and planning future photo, written, and video content for USA CUP.
Finally, it was USA CUP. Weeks of preparation and hard work had all led up to this, and I was so excited that it was finally here. I loved USA CUP because every day was different. One day I would be focusing on photo and blog content, and the next I would be working on video and social media content. I absolutely loved capturing the magic that is USA CUP. Whether it be the Target activation sites, daily Tik Tok challenges, Kick Cancer Day, or even just watching the games, there is always so much to do around the NSC campus during the tournament, and it was such a blast to be a part of.
My favorite part of USA CUP by far is the Opening Ceremony. The athlete parade was so much fun to watch, and Rock the Cup with DJ Livia was incredible. The energy at the Opening Ceremony is unmatched, and it was the most fun that I had throughout my internship. In between taking pictures of the crowd and selfies with Emily, I found myself frequently stopping to soak it all in.
Overall, I absolutely loved Target USA CUP. As an intern, you put in countless hours to this tournament. I have never worked as hard as I did during USA CUP, but it was all worth it in the end. I grew a lot closer to the other interns and staff, and I realized how much I love digital marketing. Target USA CUP was an experience that I will never forget, and I am so thankful that I got to be a part of it.