CSM, a global leader in the business of sport and entertainment, today announced a new partnership with US Club Soccer, a National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation fostering the growth and development of clubs in the United States.
Through the acquisition of US Club Soccer's long-time marketing and management partner, CSM will develop and operate programming for the organization's 500,000+ members that aims to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages.
US Club Soccer is anchored by Players First, its flagship initiative launched last year to provide a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players. The focus is to develop each individual to his or her full potential, and help parents make better choices about where their children should play. Players First is founded on five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
Additionally, US Club Soccer offers registration, league and cup-based competition platforms, the Olympic Development Programs id² and PDP, comprehensive player identification and a variety of other services.
US Club Soccer, in conjunction with its member, the Elite Clubs National League - the top youth soccer league for girls in the country - recently announced the creation of the Elite National Premier League (ENPL), a new platform that will serve as the highest level of competition for boys outside the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
CSM, through its U.S. office and network of worldwide resources, will support US Club Soccer in its vision to become the leading soccer organization in America and an integral part of the National Team’s success.
LaLiga, one of the world’s top professional leagues and a client of CSM, is supporting US Club Soccer and Players First through a long-term partnership that focuses on developing world-class coaches. CSM, which was appointed earlier this year to manage LaLiga’s commercial and sponsorship rights, will work closely with both organizations to deliver on this ambition.
Phil Wright, Chairman of US Club Soccer’s Board of Directors, said: “CSM’s impressive portfolio of resources affords exciting, new opportunities for US Club Soccer. Through this partnership, we will be able to accomplish our goals, provide even greater benefits to our members and fulfill our vision for the future.”
The CSM-US Club Soccer partnership significantly strengthens CSM’s presence in the North American market and in one of its fastest growing sports. Soccer is thriving in the U.S., a trend demonstrated by the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, in which the United States beat Japan in the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history at 26.67 million television viewers.
Zak Brown, Group CEO of CSM, commented: “We see the growth of soccer in the U.S., both at professional and grassroots levels, as one of the most interesting and exciting dynamics in the future U.S. sporting landscape. US Club Soccer is a fantastic organization at the heart of this movement and fits our strategy of expansion in the U.S. and grassroots participation properties.” He added: “Moreover, this acquisition aligns with our core belief of using the power of sport to positively impact people’s lives and deliver a lasting social impact.”
US Club Soccer’s grassroots focus gives CSM a valuable presence in an area that is growing rapidly. With global stars like Andrea Pirlo and Kaká, and key U.S. National Team players like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey inspiring the next generation, ESPN’s Sports Poll Annual Report found that soccer is the second most popular sport in America among 12 to 17-year-olds – second only to the NFL.