FIFA for change, for a change

We’ve seen FIFA used in a lot of ways over the past year and a half in lower-league soccer.

If we’re being honest, most of us would say that many such FIFA events quickly became stale (with one or two major exceptions).

In the midst of that environment, New York International FC did what they do best and got innovative to combine FIFA 21, kit sponsorship, and a charity focus to create a really special event.

smallworld got to be a part of it when it was taking place, and its results have now been released to the public.

Per the club’s press release,

NY International F.C. is delighted to announce an innovative, new, 1-year training sponsorship with 3 amazing community partners following the conclusion of our community sponsorship raffle, which used the video game FIFA 21 to simulate a virtual soccer tournament to select the winners.

NYIFC press release

To be clear, NYIFC representatives hopped on Twitch after collecting entries from charities, businesses, and anyone else willing to fork over twenty bucks for a “raffle.” The raffle was good for one team in a round of 32 knockout, entirely simulated by FIFA and overseen/hosted by the club officials running the Twitch stream.

This author will never forget being on his college campus and telling a friend he couldn’t go to dinner that night because he needed to be at his laptop to live stream absolutely no one playing a 32-team FIFA tournament.

Many parts of my life are difficult to explain.

In any case, the innovation created some exciting opportunities for charities and businesses to be supported affordably. The club’s president, Nick Platt, expressed why NYIFC made the unique move:

We wanted to find ways to support our community and felt that offering sponsorship at no cost to the selected businesses/charities was a small gesture to help give some deserved promotion and also strengthen ties to our community.”

Nick Platt, NYIFC President

Well, mission accomplished. The following three organizations make up a diverse group of sponsors for NYIFC’s training kits:

WeDo GoodWorks, an NYC-based non-profit, improves the lives of disadvantaged New Yorkers by reallocating furniture and household goods to those in need in order to give a hand up and improve lives.

It’s awesome to see a local NYC charity getting love, and they seem like a great organization.

Next up is a newly local charity to me in my North Carolina home this summer. Heal Charlotte are a non-profit organization focused on neighborhood revitalization with a holistic approach in their work in the Charlotte area. They’re doing some cool things and now will get some support up north for what they do!

These two charities will split the profits from sales of the training kits, which will be produced and partially designed by Icarus.

The lone business receiving a sponsorship spot on the kits is Big Booty Social Club, or BBSC. They’re another NY-based organization that wants to be fun and inclusive. In their words, “either you are in love with corgis or you want to celebrate the shapes that make you special.” We like both those options.

Gary Philpott is the manager for the first team, and he’s excited about the move as well.

This is a win-win for all involved. Our team are over-the-moon with the beautiful new Icarus training tops they will receive, and we are delighted to be able to highlight and represent our amazing community.

Gary Philpott, NYIFC manager

It seems like this creativity spurt from NYIFC has everybody benefitting, from the club to its community to charity organizations all over. Congrats to the NY boys on a project well executed, and we’re hoping it brings them some deserved attention!

Stay weird and support local soccer!




By danny kotula

danny kotula is an aspiring sports writer and play-by-play commentator. unfortunately, he is not good at either one. his interests include watching soccer and listening to obscure music genres, and those aren’t even his most boring ones. he was born in Tacoma, Washington but has called South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, California, Georgia, and Costa Rica home over the course of his life. he generally knows where to put a comma, which is by far his most redeeming quality. he is writing this in third person as if he were famous enough for someone to write him a biography, but don’t be fooled. he’s not famous.

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