03 Aug Target Commits $14 Million To Local Youth Soccer
Target Corp. announced a $14 million commitment to youth soccer through two new national initiatives, including an $8 million local grant program, and a $6 million partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to build 100 new soccer play spaces by 2020.
These are the latest investments by Target in the country’s fast-growing youth sport, and build on relationships with Major League Soccer, Minnesota United FC, US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which were unveiled earlier this year.
“Target’s commitment to soccer brings the game to more kids and families across the country, and increases involvement at all levels, from local youth leagues to professional teams. Our multi-dimensional approach allows us to engage with players, fans and families, no matter how they participate in the sport,” said Rick Gomez, chief marketing officer, Target. “These new programs reinforce the importance soccer plays at the local level. Both unlock access to the sport for youth players and give Target the ability to connect with our guests and team members in new ways.”
Target will commit $8 million over the next four years to launch a grant program to increase access to soccer for youth across the country, supporting player registration fees, player and field equipment, and professional development for volunteer coaches, with preference given to programs serving in-need communities. Through a national application process, Target will provide $1,000 grants to eligible schools, government agencies, non-profit organizations and non-profit regional/local soccer organization on behalf of each Target store and distribution center in the U.S. All eligible organizations can apply online at Target.com/grants through noon CST Aug 30. The first year of grants will be awarded in November 2017.
In addition to the local grant program, Target will partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to build 100 new soccer play spaces across the U.S. by 2020. Target’s $6 million commitment will enable the Foundation to transform the landscape of underserved communities, turning play deserts into safe and accessible soccer spaces and increasing opportunities for youth through after-school programs and organized sports.
“We are thrilled to partner with Target to make soccer more accessible to hundreds of thousands of children across the country, ensuring our nation’s youth have safe play spaces right in their neighborhoods,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation. “By working with Target, we will transform underutilized spaces into hubs for physical activity, making wellness attainable to all.”
The first three play spaces built through the partnership will come to life in Chicago – home to the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target – in 2017. Additional locations and cities will be announced at a later date.
The announcement deepens Target’s commitment to furthering youth soccer’s considerable growth in the U.S. and builds on the retailer’s current support of US Youth Soccer. Target currently is partnering with USYS, the country’s largest youth sports organization, as its Official Retailer, an Official Partner and the presenting sponsor of the Target United Cup – the largest recreational youth soccer tournament in the country.