Good on field and on a pitch - The Province


Handles playing duties as well as marketing the team during her day job

BY MARC WEBER

If any of the women's Whitecaps want to feature in future marketing campaigns, they'd be wise to pass Kate Qually the ball.

The Tsawwassen native not only works hard for the Whitecaps on the pitch, she's also pitching ideas for their Vancouver-based ad agency, Publicists.

"To be doing the job that you love, plus to throw in some soccer stuff, it's the best of both worlds," says Qually, a versatile player who studied creative advertising at Toronto's Humber College before returning home to look for work last summer.

"It's a cool connection to have, playing for the Whitecaps and working for them, too." Qually, 29, split her college career between San Diego State University and the University of Kentucky, where she played her final two seasons and earned her broadcast journalism degree.

She made two appearances for the W-League's Whitecaps in 2005 before heading east to continue her education. In 2007, Qually played for the Toronto Lady Lynx, also of the W-League.

She didn't know Publicists had the Whitecaps as a client when she applied there, but once hired it was obvious they'd use her on the campaign.

"It was, 'Here's the girl that knows soccer, let's get her on the soccer account,'" says Qually, whose other clients include Granville Island Brewery and Rogers Video. "I think I give a bit of a different insight into it.

"Something as simple as going through the photography. What one person thinks is cool, I might say, 'No, it's not right.' Maybe it's the way they're kicking it, it's awkward.

"When you're communicating with soccer fans, they know what's right." The highlight so far of Qually's work/play merger was the Major League Soccer expansion announcement in March -- Vancouver is joining North America's top tier in 2011.

She had an inside scoop as part of the team working on the goose-bump-inducing historical highlight video for launch day (it's on YouTube under "Vancouver MLS 2011").

"They were kind of secretive, making us work on a lot of ifs and maybes," she said of the Whitecaps, "but you kind of knew they were going to get it and it was really exciting to play a small part of it.

"You have an idea, the music, these sweet old clips, but to see it all come together and see people react the way they did is really gratifying." mweber@theprovince.com

Making name for herself

Whitecaps all-rounder Kate Qually has a new nickname since dabbling up front in practice for Alan Koch's W-League side. Move over Kate Quality, welcome Karate Kate.

"She has this jumping through the air, shooting thing," explained Whitecaps defender/assistant coach Randee Hermus, who's played club soccer with Qually for five years at Surrey United. "You've just got to watch her. She does look like she's a karate master. It's effective so far."

Kate Quality is more self explanatory.

"She's always got a smile on her face and she makes a difference when she comes on the park," said Hermus.

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