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Gopher State One Call (GSOC) recently entered into a sponsoring partnership with the Gopher State’s newest national sports franchise – Minnesota United Football Club (MNUFC). The goal of this partnership is to help elevate GSOC’s public profile, and to improve Minnesotan’s safety by promoting damage prevention awareness.

Coinciding with the beginning of “digging season,” GSOC’s first appearance was at MNUFC’s May 4th game against the Seattle Sounders. Before the match started, a tent was set up on “the Great Lawn,” Allianz Field’s 1.22 acre hub for all pre-game fan activities. In order to raise our profile and draw in as many people as possible, GSOC secured an appearance from both the 811 Bike and the 811 Trike. Countless fans were drawn to these mechanized marvels, and over thirty 811 Ambassadors were present to greet them and discuss the importance of calling 811 before you dig. There were also plenty of promotional items on hand for attendees to take home, including 811 hats and Gopher State One Call clear drawstring bags.

Inside the stadium, GSOC was featured prominently on digital signs and ribbon boards. MNUFC even prepared a video for fans that detailed the stadium’s connection to 811 and the importance of calling before you dig.

The game itself was an exciting affair, and gave MN United’s midfielder Ozzie Alonso an opportunity to square off against his old teammates – having played for Seattle for 7 years prior to coming to Minnesota. Ike Opara first put The Loons on the board with a goal at the 26-minute mark, and that’s where the score stayed until midfielder Cristian Roldan ripped a rocket of a shot past goalkeeper Vito Mannone to tie it up 1-1. Despite a valiant attempt by Minnesota’s Darwin Quintero to eke out a win in the final minutes of the game, the match ended in a draw.

Overall, the event was a widespread success, and a great opportunity for GSOC staff to have some fun while fighting the good fight on the damage prevention front. This partnership is completely new territory for GSOC, and we’re excited to be breaking new ground in pursuit of spreading the 811 message.

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