Philadelphia Union minority owner Richie Graham has formed an investment firm focused on the growth and long-term development of soccer in the United States.
For Soccer Ventures, which will aim to source, acquire and manage a portfolio of investments and businesses, officially kicks off on November 21 at the Soccerex USA conference in Miami, Florida.
The company is comprised of two key platforms. Firstly, the Soccer Collective, a multi-platform media firm which will create and publish original audio and video content, and produce experiences, for a distinctly American soccer audience. It will debut across social media channels and OTT platforms in early 2020.
Secondly, the Soccer Alliance, which will extend Graham’s current youth soccer programs nationally through a network of best-in-class operators of clubs, leagues and tournaments across the US, leveraging data and education to enhance the on-field experience for players, families and coaches.
Executives at For Soccer Ventures include Ryan Mooney, the former chief soccer officer at the United States Soccer Federation; Aaron Maines, the former head of sports marketing at adidas soccer and a Wasserman executive; Marc Horine, the former ESPN executive and Copa90 US general manager; and Heath Pearce, the former US Men’s National Team player and lead creative at Copa90 US.
“With the Fifa World Cup and Olympics coming to the US in 2026 and 2028, there has never been a better time to double down on our commitment to advance American soccer forward,” Graham said. “Now is the time to invest with the future of American soccer in mind, and I am very excited to bring together a passionate executive team with deep roots and experiences within the American soccer ecosystem to lead this charge.
“The Soccer Alliance and The Soccer Collective represent our relentless commitment to both fuel and showcase the exciting growth of soccer in America.”
Graham is the founder of YSC Academy, Philadelphia Union’s affiliate high school for soccer players in grades 8-12. He and his family initially invested in the Major League Soccer team in 2011, increasing their stake in 2018.