"In thousands of neighborhood fields, the crack of the bat has given way to the soaring soccer kick," said this promotional pamphlet prepared by US Soccer and its sponsors in 1979.
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.
You can count the number of team logos that have stayed largely in tact to today on one hand from this MLS promo poster 17 years ago.
Creative poster produced for the Baltimore Bohemians inaugural game (in USL-PDL). There’s an interesting diary of Baltimore’s unusual branding and launch plans over at The Classical.
XI has hit the $11,000 needed to launch the quarterly, and we’ve outlined how that money will be spent. One question that remains up in the air is whether XI should include advertising in the publication, especially during the difficult first year of operation financially. Quite frankly, the XI team does not want to do this. We see this less as a magazine, and each quarterly more as a self-contained, beautifully designed book: and no-one wants to find a shaving cream ad on the fifth page of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, right?
So, we’re asking for your support to drive the Kickstarter fundraising to a new target: $15,000. If your pledges take XI there, the XI team in turn pledges to keep the quarterly ad-free through the first year’s four issues. Should you like the idea of seeing XI packed with nothing but quality content, please spread the word and consider a pledge on Kickstarter.
Fake Sigi with an interesting look at MLS and ethnic marketing.
A commercial starring the NASL’s Kyle Rote Jr., featured on this space recently.
Promo video for the Minnesota Stars of the NASL by Brave New Media. Good to see high-quality marketing for lower league American soccer, isn’t it?