In my dreams, XI Quarterly’s impending launch – the first issue will be released next month – is accompanied by trumpets, garlands of roses and a promotional campaign whose impact and expense would make a Condé Nast publication blush.
When I wake up, I head to the internet as usual and do what I can to help promote XI using the low-cost tools of social media: tweeting and tumbling until my fingers fall off. It’s actually been a lot of fun doing it this way, and thanks to a community who have really taken to the idea of a North American soccer quarterly hitting their coffee tables, this grassroots effort raised XI $15,000 on Kickstarter and has helped with a good start to the XI subscription drive.
Yet there’s only so much that can be done through Twitter and Tumblr. We want to get XI’s purpose and identity out there to soccer fans in North America beyond social media’s reach. Thanks to the Kickstarter campaign’s success, we have a small budget, and we don’t want to blow it on Google ads. We’d rather do something fun, such as partner with other soccer organizations looking to grow the game; we want to find creative ways to raise awareness of XI.
That’s where you come in. Sure, we have a few ideas of our own, but we’re guessing you might have better ones. Maybe you know a soccer-friendly organization that could work with us, or maybe you have a wacky plan to deliver complimentary copies of XI clutched by garden gnomes parachuting out of hot air balloons passing over CenturyLink field.
Whatever they are, we want to hear your ideas: reblog with your idea attached, tweet them to @xiquarterly, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any ideas we actually implement will see the person responsible richly rewarded with a quite lovely limited edition XI scarf and a shout-out in issue two of the quarterly.
As he explains here, in issue One of XI David Keyes is writing about the role that AYSO, the American Youth Soccer Organization, played in “Americanizing” soccer. Founded in the 1960s in Los Angeles, AYSO sought to redefine soccer, transforming it from a foreign sport to an American game, and thus grow beyond the ethnic communities where it had long been played.
XI Quarterly is currently accepting queries from new and established writers for submissions to XI issue two, themed around the idea of “Americans Abroad.”
XI publishes a variety of writing in each issue. This can include, but is not limited to, long-form essays, interviews and in-depth reportage. XI also publishes photography and art submissions as standalone contributions.
All queries for issue two should relate to the issue’s theme, “Americans Abroad.” How have the experiences abroad of North American soccer players, coaches, administrators or media shaped the sport’s development both domestically and internationally? North America, for the purposes of XI, includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Before submitting a query, please consider that we favor hands-on reporting and research over opinion and look for creative ideas that explore the unique nature of North American soccer culture, whether the focus is contemporary professional, collegiate, grassroots and youth soccer or on the history of the game.
Issue two of XI will be published in early November 2012; the deadline for submission queries to be sent to the editors is July 31, 2012. Send all queries via email to email@example.com
In issue one of XI, Tom Dunmore is writing about the storied history of Howard University’s soccer team. Dunmore’s piece explores how soccer has been a tool for Howard to do outreach to the black diaspora, bringing in players for its team from various parts of the world. It also examines how the success of Howard was often a challenge to the college soccer system, which responded by putting up barriers to marginalize the historically black university, barriers that Howard’s teams have often overcome.