Uniting people through soccer and sharing the joy of the game is something PepsiCo brands Pepsi, Lay’s and Gatorade have been doing on and off the field for decades.
“Team of Champions” is another step in PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey, which in 2020 saw the company make investments of more than $570 million over the next five years to lift up Black and Hispanic businesses and communities in the U.S. to address issues of inequality and create opportunity.
The PepsiCo “Team of Champions” 2022 organizations receiving funding this year includes:
1. Club Soccer Centro (Houston, TX): SOCCER CENTRO is one of the largest Hispanic soccer organizations in Houston, TX. Founded in 2002, they have supported over 35,000 players in the local community by keeping them busy on a field and off the streets. Currently, they work with more than 500 kids aged 4-18 in different soccer related programs.
2. Cultures United FC (Seattle, WA): Cultures United FC offers underprivileged young adults from diverse backgrounds a pathway to athletic advancement while simultaneously empowering them to give back to their community via free camps and clinics for youth.
3. FCI Soccer Academy (Washington, D.C.): FCI Soccer Academy is a non-profit organization with the purpose of getting the youth in Prince George’s County active and to form a community of parents and children who are able to spend time together.
4. Football For Her (Los Angeles, CA): Football For Her provides a safe and inclusive space for girls to play football (some may know it as “soccer”), offering mentorship and professional resources that may not otherwise be available.
5. JaHbat FC Premier (Chicago, IL): A growing club, providing the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level for youth soccer, ages 6-19 years old. JaHbat currently has over 20 teams and more than 300 players. JaHbat is an acronym which represents the cultural backgrounds of each of the club’s first players; Jamaica, Americas, Haiti, Belize, Asia/Africa, and Trinidad.
6. Kalonji Soccer Academy (Atlanta, GA): Kalonji Soccer Academy is all about the kids, and the program run by Atlanta Youth Soccer Foundation (AYSF), a not-for-profit 501c3 that offers programs for children and adults. AYSF provides a safe, supportive, and caring environment where all children regardless of their socio-economic background can learn, play, and evolve their soccer skills.
7. Little Haiti (Miami, FL): Little Haiti FC is the only free, not-for-profit start-up youth soccer club in Florida. LHFC serves 175 children from a diverse population of underserved families from the central Miami neighborhood of Little Haiti and surrounding communities. In the past seven years 100% of the children in the program graduated high school and 80% went on to higher education.
8. PureGame (Los Angeles, CA): PureGame creates programming for children that integrates a character education curriculum, leadership coaching, and sport. PureGame introduces life skills, builds character and helps children.
9. RYSA Wimauma Warriors (Tampa Bay, FL): An organization located in the city of Wimauma that has been working and supporting the local Hispanic community, made up mainly of migrant workers who have emigrated from Latin American countries. This program improves the quality of life in the local community that shares a common love of soccer.
10. Sol Of the Cities (Minneapolis, MN): In a world of pay to play athletics, where many communities are left out, SOL OF THE CITIES Serve-To-Play Futsal League was created. We have developed a model that gives kids the opportunity to play competitive futsal in a positive environment; that promotes giving back to the community.
11. South Bronx United (New York, NY): South Bronx United is a 501c3 non-profit, youth development organization that combines soccer with academic enrichment, college prep, mentoring, and family services to engage immigrant and first-generation youth and support the broader South Bronx community
12. Texas Soccer Alliance (Dallas, TX): Texas Soccer Alliance is a soccer club/academy serving the North Fort Worth, Keller, Saginaw and surrounding areas. Their main focus is to provide full developmental support to all players boys and girls, regardless of skill level in an effort to prepare them for competition at any and every level.
13. The 18th Ward (New Orleans, LA): The 18th Ward was created to increase youth access to sports by eliminating barriers to participation. They provide high-quality programs and trained coaches to make sure kids have fun and learn the foundational skills to feel successful in sports.
14. Union Jerez (Denver, CO): Union Jerez is a youth academy built on a foundation to help kids. We want to give an opportunity to kids to enjoy playing soccer and help them pursue a collegiate career to better their future.
15. United Philly Soccer (Philadelphia, PA): United Philly’s mission is to create an all-inclusive pathway for players residing in Philadelphia to participate in a high quality and competitive soccer program up through their high school years.
16. Women in Soccer (New York, NY): Women in Soccer is a growing community of women and allies united by the inclusive spirit of soccer coming together in one digital hub. The WIS network is on a mission to connect and support all women and marginalized individuals who love the beautiful game, with a specific focus on making the soccer industry a more equitable place to work. Join their movement.
As of now, there is no formal application process to be considered one of the “Team of Champions” organizations. You can submit details about your organization here.
“Team of Champions” is another step in PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey, which in 2020 saw the company commit to invest more than $570 million over five years to increase Black and Hispanic representation, leverage its scale and influence across suppliers and strategic partners, and help address inequality and create economic oppotunity for Black and Hispanic Americans.
“Team of Champions” is a $1 million commitment over three years that makes actionable investments on and off the field to help create transformational change for Hispanic and Black communities across the United States through soccer. Partnering with these 11 organizations, PepsiCo is investing in Hispanic and Black soccer clubs, programs and businesses, with the ambition to drive long-term change and address systemic barriers in these underserved communities.
More information about PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey can be found here.