Why Copacino Fujikado Held a Seattle Sendoff for Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe became a citizen of the world during her soccer career, but for more than a decade—Seattle called her one of its own.

Rapinoe played college soccer just down I-5 at the University of Portland. In 2012, before winning either of her two World Cup titles with the U.S. Women’s National Team, she joined the Seattle Sounders Women of the United Soccer League Women’s League. A year later, she joined the Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League, where she’s played for a decade.

When she spoke out against gender inequity, racial injustice, transphobia and abortion restrictions, she did so with the city of Seattle behind her. When she won two World Cups, an Olympic gold medal, the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s Golden Ball, Golden Boot and Best Player, the city was there for her, too.

When she played her final home game for the OL Reign—currently owned by French club Olympique Lyonnais, where Rapinoe played from 2012-2014 and won a title in 2013—Rapinoe was sent off by an NWSL-record 34,140 fans and 683,000 regular-season viewers on CBS.

Seattle-based creative agency Copacino Fujikado has worked with the Reign for the last two years and has partnered with Rapinoe—and her wife and WNBA Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird—on pandemic-era ads for Symetra Financial. Heading into that last home match, the agency teamed with the Reign and its Royal Guard supporters’ group to host a sendoff at the Rough & Tumble women’s sports bar in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. 

Copacino Fujikado also spent its own money on a billboard next to the West Seattle Bridge bidding farewell to Rapinoe as the OL Reign prepared for their NWSL Championship matchup—and Rapinoe’s final professional soccer match—against F.C. Gotham Nov. 11. While neither the Reign nor the agency paid for media to promote either the sendoff party or the billboard, more than 5 million fans worldwide checked into social media coverage of their efforts.

Copacino Fujikado has included the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Mariners among its clients. By paying tribute to Rapinoe, however, its local focus served a broader, global purpose.

“We try just to be part of the fabric of the community and the culture of the city,” said Chris Copacino, executive director of business development at Copacino Fujikado. “We’ve tracked along with her and appreciated her for a long time, so, to kind of tap into the zeitgeist of what’s going on in our city was something that we can put up and just kind of be part of the cultural pulse.”

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