For Soccer Ventures is out to accelerate American football through the acquisition of FootyCon, The Association and Kicks To The Pitch, helping to make the vision investor Richie Graham has closer to reality. This investment firm in Philadelphia is geared towards philanthropy in the sport using long-term goals and a pledge of $50 million to seek out, acquire and manage businesses in order to grow soccer across the United States. The Sports Techie community blog is a part of the network used by For Soccer Ventures to share this story and others that represent the company ambition to grow soccer with a youthful, energetic and positive outlook as indicated by these three initial acquisitions. The plan is to leverage each of these company’s core competencies into a single platform focused on storytelling around a lifestyle. The Soccer Collective and The Soccer Alliance are the two platforms that will absorb the investments and showcase them to fans via events, compelling content and brand activations related to football in the US and beyond.
“These acquisitions represent For Soccer Venture’s ambition to prop up the best-in-class operators that are advancing the sport of soccer in America,” stated Philadelphia Union Investor and FSV Principal Graham. “As part of The Soccer Collective platform, these properties will serve to connect brands to the American soccer community through sneaker culture, music, fashion, and more. We are committed to not only investing in the American soccer community, but also growing it. For Soccer Ventures believes that these businesses uniquely celebrate soccer fandom in the U.S., and are positioned to draw new fans and brands alike to the sport.”
FootyCon is the first and only consumer facing convention series celebrating soccer and culture for the American soccer community, launching in June 2020 in Pasadena, CA. FootyCon brings the most important soccer brands, tastemakers, egamers, artists, and musicians at the confluence of soccer and lifestyle directly to the fans and consumers. An experience like no other, FootyCon will celebrate the global sport and the impact of American culture on what is increasingly becoming America’s game.
The Association is the first and only soccer league in the United States driven by taste-making brands, creative individuals, and social media influencers. Introduced in L.A. in 2017, The Association is less a 5v5 league and more an incomparable experience for attendees featuring B-Boy and barber battles, DJ’s, pop-up artists, and more. The first two seasons featured teams from a diverse number of properties including SpaceX, Beats by Dre, Red Bull, LA Galaxy, LAFC, Jason Markk, 424 on Fairfax, Guess?, Complex, Nikys Sports, Dash Radio and others.
Kicks to the Pitch (KTTP) was introduced in late 2014 with the vision of founder Curtis Brown. After ten years of working in the live events and sneaker industry via his “buy, sell and trade” sneaker convention, Dunkxchange, Curtis identified a content gap in the soccer realm both in the US and globally. The story around the four tenets of lifestyle — sneakers, art, music and fashion — and how they connect to soccer was not being told. In the past five years, KTTP has grown to be one of the premiere online and social sources pushing the conversation of the connection of soccer with sneakers, art, music and fashion. Both globally and in the US. KTTP has worked with the likes of adidas, Nike, Puma, New Balance, PSG, Dortmund, MLS, LAFC, LA Galaxy, US Soccer and others to further the organic and authentic connection of soccer to lifestyle and culture.
“With an eye toward the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Olympics, the defining decade of American soccer growth is upon us,” said Brown. He added, “Uniquely, For Soccer Ventures puts the American soccer family first. With a data-driven approach and the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of American Soccer fans and brands, FSV will turbo-charge our efforts to grow these three businesses exponentially.”
For Soccer Ventures SportsBiz
For Soccer Ventures has ownership or an investment stake in the following properties, investments and technologies – Philadelphia Union, YSC Academy, YSC Sports, APL Leagues and Tournaments, The Soccer Collective, and The Soccer Alliance.
The management team features: Ryan Mooney former Chief Soccer Officer at U.S. Soccer, John Parker former Director of Strategy for Striker Partners’ soccer investments, Dr. Nooha Ahmed-Lee Director of Education, For Soccer Ventures, Aaron Maines former Head of Sports Marketing at adidas soccer and Wasserman executive, Marc Horine former ESPN executive and COPA90 US General Manager, Heath Pearce former U.S. Men’s National Team player and Lead Creative and Host at COPA90 US, and Burke Cherrie, award-winning filmmaker and former Editorial Director at COPA90 US.
The Soccer Collective
The Soccer Collective is a new media house leading a collaborative movement to celebrate American soccer culture and fan experiences through storytelling, activations and brand content development.
The Soccer Alliance
The Soccer Alliance utilizes Graham’s existing portfolio of soccer properties engaged with youth clubs, leagues and tournaments designed to improve the on-field experience for players and the American soccer family.
Sports Techie, Graham likes to the prospects here in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, where a one-stop platform for kids, parents, casual fans, professional players and coaches invested in U.S. soccer can interact with the sport and most importantly, absorb the culture.
These cities represent an increase in the Hispanic population and a tech-savvy, millennial and Gen Z fan base, according to Graham.
Personally, I reached out to Parker for an interview request when they launched and was not responded to which is very rare for me when I do so. The For Soccer Ventures web site is not very impressive, for example the links for press do not work correctly, the contact page is also not functioning, and the entire site is bare bones and uninspiring. Spending $50 million can go quickly for investment firms but taking care of the little things along the way represents more than meets the eye.
I do like their focus on the Latino communities across the USA as well as women and girls in general.
These three investments are a step in a cross-cultural direction, time will tell whether they perform as promised.
From Soccer, For Soccer.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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