The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee today launched the Spirit of Houston campaign, underlining the city’s united, community-driven and innovative approach that sets it apart from other candidate cities. Coinciding with the reveal, at 10 a.m. CT, organizations and individuals from around Houston participated in a Spirit of Houston social ‘roadblock’ by sharing the campaign launch video on their digital channels.
Inspired by Houston’s unique spirit, the campaign is aimed at showcasing that the weight of the entire community is passionately rallying together to deliver future-focused initiatives in support of the city’s bid to host the most popular sporting event in the world.
That spirit has already brought several programs to life:
- Grow the Game initiative: forged a partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation on a fundraising campaign to build 30 mini-pitches; launched two grassroots programs – FreeKicks Soccer and Girls’ Intro to Soccer – with financial backing from Houston Dynamo and Dash owner Ted Segal
- Art of Soccer campaign: 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: seven local artists painted 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 2026 President Chris Canetti said: “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. 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.”