SOCCER FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE W/ SOCCERGRLPROBS

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What started as a side project among three friends in college, SoccerGrlProbs has grown into a cultural phenomenon for women’s soccer. Started by Shannon Fay, Carly Beyar and Alanna Locast, SoccerGrlProbs was first started in 2011 during their collegiate soccer preseason. What originally started by sharing tweets that every female soccer player could relate to, quickly turned into much more as they struck a cord that resonated with their core audience. Within a couple of weeks of launching their Twitter page, Soccer GrlProbs was racking up thousands of fans and they were being inundated with requests for videos. Capturing on the trend at the time of such videos as “Sh*t Girls Say”, Carly, Alana and Shannon set out to create their own video aptly titled “Sh*t Soccer Girls Say.” You can see the video here.

They shot this video on an iPad, put it up on YouTube, and the next day the video already had one million views. Clearly the video resonated with people as it was relatable, hilarious and authentic to who the girls are. Their online presence was growing, their fanbase exploding and demand for all things SoccerGrlProbs related was only growing.

Fan requests continued to roll in for more content as well as merchandise. SGP decided to take three funny tweets that they had put out and turn those into t-shirts. Once again demand was strong and the shirts sold out in five hours. Everything that SGP did was working as it struck a chord with a niche group of women which helped to create a strong sense of community among global lady ballers.

Since 2011 (and that first video in 2012) SGP has continued growing their brand and their following and it works so well because they know exactly who they are, their fans know who they are and their success is proof that authenticity matters most. Whether sharing content, telling stories or selling product. Being true to who you are matters.

I’ve seen firsthand the support they have and the passion that their fans have for them and what they do. Years ago we were in a suite in a stadium watching a game. They had tweeted out that they were at the game and within minutes there were close to 100 young soccer players standing outside the door waiting to meet them. This is what SGP means to female soccer players and it is incredible to see what they have built. And even though they are eight years in the game, it feels very much like this is just the beginning for what is to come.

With the Women’s World Cup taking place right now, SGP finds themselves in France doing what they do best. Creating content, meeting new people, sharing their love of the sport and being ambassadors for the women’s game. They were also recently featured on the Fox segment “She’s Next” in which they talked about how girls can exceed beyond the field when they stay in sports.

And that is an important part of this story. Their desire to empower young girls, to show what is possible on and off the field all while helping to grow the sport. When asked what more can be done to help women’s soccer grow in the US, they answered quickly and decisively. They want more people to support the NWSL. The support that is shown during the Women’s World Cup is great, but they want to see more being done daily with fans getting out and supporting the league, the players and their favorite teams. They know that to grow women’s soccer in the US requires daily support and engagement from fans around the country. That kind of daily involvement is exactly what we see from SGP and they are the leaders in helping to not only grow the sport, but to help young female soccer players drive for greatness and achieve their dreams.

Follow SoccerGrlProbs:

YouTube – SoccerGrlProbsVids
IG – SoccerGrlProbs

And their latest endeavor, Sh*t Soccer Girls say Podcast where they talk all things soccer and life on and off the pitch. – Check it out on iTunes here.

 

Photoshoot Cred: @thomvsfrs

 

THE POSSIBILITIES OF KITH’S NEW ADIDAS SOCCER COLLECTION

A soccer jersey is a cultural symbol for many people around the world. Though we in the United States are not at that level or even close to it, I believe it is important to highlight how the past weeks have reminded us about fashion’s potential to bridge this cultural gap.

The latest example of this is provided by none other than Ronnie Fieg’s KITH x adidas soccer Chapter 3 collection. As a US Soccer fan, the collection is something I can appreciate for more than just its emotional significance. Indeed, the real value of this collection is in the voids it addresses for me specifically, and the very direct and simple way it goes about doing this.

I know I am not the only one who feels as though the latest US Soccer kits and apparel have lacked just a little something special. My pickups of recent releases have in fact been much more done out of mere loyalty to the team as opposed to general excitement of what I am looking at or a desire to show that around. It is simply what’s there, however, no one can disagree when I say that we deserve a lot more.

The KITH collection is something US Soccer should take a closer look at. Despite Ronnie Fieg not being a soccer expert or passionate fan at that, it is clear he may very well have a better understanding of exactly what is required to take soccer to the next level here in this country. Simply put, Fieg knows that to keep people engaged with the sport and to bring newcomers into the fold, the apparel just has to look good.

The collection has obviously got my attention, but rather than talking about the collection as a whole, I have decided to focus on the few pieces that offer the most food for thought.

The best thing about this collection is the era it references. The KITH Cobras jersey seen above is perhaps the most representative of this 90’s aesthetic as it reinterprets the famous USA denim kit with its allover star print. The jersey offers that instant emotional connection and provides enough reason for US Soccer to also look at this era for its own design inspiration.

KITH’s flag-inspired windbreaker is another important piece. Admittedly, stars and stripes are a caricature look of any American, but at least it is more exciting than the current jersey or monotone training or presentation jackets as they are called that Nike has offered for the US team. At the very least a jacket like this needs to be offered as a lifestyle piece.

Meanwhile, the goalie jersey and KITH Cobras shorts underline the importance of a soccer collection being fashion-forward in every aspect. Considering both goalie jerseys and soccer shorts have long been seen as afterthoughts, this collection presents these items as standalone pieces made unique either by reinterpreting retro designs or adding other necessary embellishments.

The last pieces which include a uniform set and two tracksuit jackets may be the most telling of all. On a big picture level, the pieces highlight the range of this collection as you go from shimmery in your face gold shorts to more paired down white and black tracksuits. At the same time, the items spark a discussion on branding and how much more unique a collection can look when you pair your customary palette with a bright, but still the complementary touch of color. The monochrome gold badges and branding are a big hit with me none more so than on the on the white tracksuit jacket which includes an enlarged Kith logo inspired by the old US Soccer logo on the back. Enlarged branding, whether it be team or sponsor-related, is something I consider a distinct soccer look and I am glad to see it here.

This along with the rest of the unique features I have highlighted provide the foundation for US Soccer to finally deliver a soccer collection unlike any other. A more fashion-forward collection would regain the momentum lost by the failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup and begin a movement that would see soccer and US Soccer specifically as more of a cultural force by the time 2026 rolls around.