We’re starting a monthly feature showcasing individuals helping push soccer fandom forward through original and branded content. Former players, current players, freestylers, photogs, musicians, models, and others all have a vested interest in growing the sport and have used social channels like Instagram and YouTube to express their fandom. Get to know the new-age soccer influencer.
When your athletic career comes to an end, either through your own volition or because of health reasons, one of the hardest decisions for any athlete is figuring out what comes next. For a lot of soccer players, coaching or training is an obvious segue to staying involved in the sport. For others, relying on other skills or hobbies like photography or writing is an avenue.
For our friend Melissa Ortiz, the gift of gab, a bubbly personality, and a can-do attitude are the vessels she hopes to sail on as she looks at her playing career in the rearview mirror. The former Colombian Women’s National Team player and Olympian, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, has turned from international player to social influencer and has worked with a multitude of brands, from BMW to Cricket Wireless to, most recently, Hugo Boss.
Such a fun beach training with @moalifc ⚽️🔥💪🏼 #WorldCup withdrawals Day 1 anyone? | 📹 : @zeyumwang .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ . . #soccer #ilovesoccer #soccerislife #worldcup #fifa #fifaworldcup #france #football #footy #footballtraining #paris #mbappe #footballislife #russia #rusia #russia2018 #moscow #soccertraining #colombia #modric #soccergirl #thesoccerblogger #soccerlife #goal #soccergame
Born in the U.S. to Colombian parents with summers spent in Bogota and forced into Liverpool fandom since childhood by her brothers and the play of Steven Gerrard, soccer is in Melissa’s blood, so it’s not surprising she’s remained involved. Per Melissa, “There was never a doubt in my mind that I’d continue in the sport – somehow – after I stopped playing. A few opportunities arose and here we are!”
As a bilingual female, she hits the sweet spot for a lot of brands and reaches a very attractive audience for marketers. As mentioned, she most recently worked with Hugo Boss at their 5v5 #BossUnited influencer tournament in New York City during the World Cup and has worked with BMW down in Florida on an ongoing basis the past month or so.
Melissa is appreciative of all the brands and clients with whom she’s worked, but if you ask her what she’s most excited about, she’ll tell you it’s her latest venture that has her extremely motivated. Right before the start of the World Cup, Melissa launched a blog called The Soccer Blogger where she will look to cover the sport and her adventures from the perspective of a former professional player.
To kick off her blog and next venture, Melissa traveled to Russia to support Colombia and captured great content along the way. She was gracious enough to share the video with us and we’re excited to share her take on Russia and the World Cup below.
Influencers have long been used by brands in the fashion, travel, and beauty space, but as more and more micro and macro soccer influencers emerge and grow in popularity, we’re excited to showcase some of the great people with whom we’ve worked and tell their unique stories and interests.