Our client, Volkswagen of America, recently announced partnerships with ten U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team stars. Team VW, as the group is collectively called, will serve as ambassadors for the brand while helping communities grow the sport of soccer through nine local charities, each of which has received a contribution from Volkswagen.
I continue to admire Volkswagen’s commitment to U.S. Soccer’s mission of making soccer the preeminent sport in the U.S. and providing access for all. Elevating non-profits each player is passionate about during these unprecedented times is crucial in order to keep kids engaged and excited about the sport we all love.
It’s important we continue to build the game at the grassroots level and having world-class athletes involved with these organizations will encourage youth to continue to give back and do their part to serve their local community. The Team VW family will inspire the next generation and actively work behind-the-scenes to make the world a better place. We couldn’t have asked for a better group to join the family!
The Volkswagen family grows
Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were previously part of the Volkswagen team, so with the addition of six Women’s National Team and four Men’s National Team players, Team VW is officially made up of the following players:
|Tyler Adams||Abby Dahlkemper|
|Crystal Dunn||Ali Krieger|
|Carli Lloyd||Weston McKennie|
|Samantha Mewis||Jordan Morris|
|Kelley O'Hara||Gyasi Zardes|
|Alex Morgan||Megan Rapinoe|
Team VW officially unveiled
With our athletes in different parts of the world, Volkswagen put together a #PasstheBall challenge video to bring everyone together as the collective Team VW. Take a look at the announcement video below.
Team VW: the team that gives back! Meet our 10 newest players from @ussoccer and their chosen charities. We’re not just partnering with players. We’re working together to make soccer dreams a reality. #TeamVW #DriveBigger #PassTheBall pic.twitter.com/6gXvbRvZ6o
— Volkswagen USA (@VW) June 29, 2020
One component of becoming a VW ambassador was for each athlete to select a non-profit that is both meaningful to them and also supports the growth of the sport in the U.S. As part of Volkswagen’s Drive Bigger initiative, VW wanted to utilize athlete relationships to do more for local communities. A full list of our athlete’s non-profits is below, but I encourage you to read the official Team VW release to learn more.
|Tyler Adams, Crystal Dunn||America SCORES|
|Abby Dahlkemper||Grassroot Soccer|
|Ali Krieger||Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS)|
|Carli Lloyd||The Women's Sports Foundation|
|Samantha Mewis||Hidden Gems|
|Weston McKennie||The Steve Nash Foundation|
|Jordan Morris||The Jordan Morris Foundation|
|Kelley O'Hara||The Kelley O'Hara Scholarship Fund|
|Gyasi Zardes||The Columbus Crew SC Foundation|
Over the previous five months it’s been a pleasure working with the athletes and their agents to learn more about the athletes, why they chose the charity they did, working with the charities to learn more about their mission, and how the donation will help them during these times.
Every Team VW organization does a lot of excellent work in their communities, but I felt it important to highlight how a few have continued to engage the people they support – they’ve certainly had to get creative during the COVID-19 period.
- America SCORES and their various chapters have shifted to digital programming to provide access to kids while staying socially distant. During COVID-19, they have delivered essentials (cleaning supplies, exercise equipment, food, etc.) to families and are running daily virtual summer camps so SCORES kids can stay engaged and active
- The Women’s Sports Foundation has evolved their online programming to include seminars and panels. Carli Lloyd has been involved to discuss young athletes’ mental health during the pandemic
- Grassroot Soccer has moved to a fully virtual SKILLZ curriculum with programs to teach adolescents about the importance of social distancing, self-care, hand-washing, and staying active
- Kelley O’Hara Scholarship Fund is identifying deserving college-bound female athletes through Kelley’s youth club AFC Lightning. Kelley is helping cover costs for their education. See the virtual announcement of two scholarship winners here
Stay tuned for more exciting things for #TeamVW – we’re looking forward to working with our athletes throughout this year!