In markets where soccer dominates youth sport participation and there is an existing network of well-developed youth soccer clubs, Super Club partnerships create localised brand ambassadors that take the values of Chelsea FC to the mass market.
A Super Club is a highly developed youth soccer club with up to 10,000 paying members per club that has a 12-month schedule of training, playing and social activities. A partnership with Chelsea FC that allows the Super Club to access the CFC coaching curriculum, send teams to Chelsea FC's Cobham training ground and utilise Chelsea FC coaches in-market
Where do we currently have Super Clubs?
In March 2009, the Baltimore Bays, recently named number one youth soccer club in the country by Soccer America, announced a formal partnership with Chelsea that will benefit youth soccer players throughout the state.
'The Bays partnership with Chelsea will continue to enable us to impact elite athletes in the soccer community and will help all soccer players who are interested in learning and improving their game,' said Kevin Healey, president of the Baltimore Bays club.
'This is a real partnership. We're not simply using the name. Our players will have greater opportunities to learn and maximize their potential as a result. It really says a great deal about our local talent pool when we attract the attention of a world renowned Club like Chelsea,' added Healey.
CASLThe Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) was founded in 1974 as a not-for-profit organisation. The mission of CASL is to provide instructional and competitive youth soccer opportunities that enhance the character, community and love of the game. Integrated in this is the building of self-esteem, self-confidence, team work and respect for others, as well as all the inherent benefits of physical exercise.
CASL includes approximately 9,000 registered youth soccer players, making up nearly 800 teams, totalling 20,000 players, coaches, officials, parents, volunteers and supporters.
The American youth club includes girls and boys ages four to 19 in the Greater Raleigh, North Carolina area and hosts multiple tournaments throughout the year.
CASL chief executive Charlie Slagle said: 'From their young Academy players to the first team super stars, Chelsea are one of the elite clubs in international soccer. For them to devote time, resources and energy to our young players and dedicated coaching staff truly shows their commitment to the game here in the US.
'We work very hard to be one of the top full-service clubs in the country and to be selected to form an affiliation with a club of Chelsea's standard is very gratifying, it shows people understand that what we are doing is having an impact beyond our local community.'
MATCH FIT ACADEMY
Match Fit includes approximately 400 registered youth soccer players, girls and boys aged from four to 19. The academy is based in Central New Jersey and extends to New York and Pennsylvania.
The Match Fit Academy Football Club is a non-profit educational and training organisation dedicated to providing the best instruction and character-building experience for youth soccer players. The academy identifies players with outstanding potential and places them in a learning environment designed to encourage personal development.
As a result of the partnership, the Match Fit Academy side is now known as Match Fit Chelsea and will host Chelsea-sponsored tournaments, training sessions with their coaches and player and coach exchange programmes.
Match Fit director of operations John R Calcaterra said: 'Partnering with Chelsea gives us the opportunity to not only stimulate the development of youth soccer in the Tri-State area, but across the entire country.'
'Chelsea wants to develop the game and are opening themselves up to the sharing and collaboration of curriculum. This is a monumental partnership in the history of American youth soccer.'
SERENO SOCCER CLUB
Sereno Soccer Club is one of the leading soccer education and training organizations in the U.S. They are perennially ranked the #1 youth soccer club in Arizona. Over the past 30 years, the club has produced 46 Arizona State champion boys teams, 80 Arizona State champion girls teams, nine regional champions, three national finalists and one national champion.
Sereno Soccer Club became the sixth soccer program in Chelsea's U.S. youth super club network.
As a result of the partnership, Sereno Soccer Club will now be known as Sereno Chelsea Soccer Club and will host Chelsea sponsored tournaments, training sessions with Chelsea coaches and player and coach exchange programs.
Chelsea FC chief executive Ron Gourlay said: 'Our super club network is designed to create long-term growth and sustainability of soccer in America by supporting elite youth clubs that provide the best soccer instruction and experience for local players. Sereno Soccer Club has been doing that for more than 30 years and this partnership will assist them in taking it to the next level and expanding their reach.'
Sereno Director of Coaching David Robertson expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership: 'We see this as a positive step forward for our players and coaching staff. Getting access to the Chelsea FC Youth Academy programming and coaches will help us to ensure that our training programs are world class. We're excited to give our players access to Chelsea FC coaching through Sereno-Chelsea sponsored events, camps and clinics right here in Phoenix.'
details to follow