Allstate Debuts Coaching Mural to Develop Youth Soccer Players
New interactive community training mural unveiled in Chicago in partnership with Black Star and inspired by U.S. Soccer stars Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma and Lynn Williams
NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 26, 2023 – A new interactive 25-foot art installation adorns a wall on Chicago’s west side. Allstate in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation, unveiled an interactive art piece that provides soccer coaching to aspiring youth players.
Working with Black Star, a program whose mission is to accelerate the growth and popularity of soccer among Black Americans and local nonprofit Intentional Sports, there’s now a dedicated outdoor training space for youth players. The Coaching Mural is an instructional art installation that guides players through an assortment of soccer drills and techniques including shooting, passing and proper foot positioning.
“Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world and a game that I love, which is why I am so passionate about passing it on to the next generation,” said Crystal Dunn, member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and board member of Black Women’s Player Collective. “My goal is to leave a positive lasting impact on America’s youth and fully diversify the game for generations to come. The current model in the U.S. for high-level training is currently broken and prices out the majority of the youth thus limiting the amount of kids who can participate and extend their careers at the highest level. That’s why my teammates and I jumped at the chance to support this community effort to leave a lasting impact.”
Dunn and two additional USWNT team members, Naomi Girma and Lynn Williams provided creative direction for the artwork. Chicago-based artist Dwight White II is the artist behind the project and brought his unique perspective of fine art, sociology, and experiential design to the final installation.
Building on an existing relationship, Allstate worked with Black Star to create the mural with the goal of providing access to soccer training to all youth. Dunn, Girma and Williams’ personal beliefs align with Black Star’s mission, which made them ideal strategic partners for the artwork. The initiative closely aligns with U.S. Soccer’s strategic pillar to Foster the Best Playing Environments, which focuses on making soccer more accessible, removing barriers for entry and providing safe and inclusive environments for all participants.
“We are dedicated to finding creative ways to engage more Black youth around the game of soccer and this coaching mural is the perfect example of that,” said Patrick Rose, director of properties and partnerships with Black Star. “The artwork is an opportunity for us to introduce more Black youth to soccer while also leveling up the skills of youth who are currently involved with our programming.”
The coaching mural will be hosted at Intentional Sports, a Chicago-based nonprofit that operates a soccer recreation facility on the city’s west side. The space will serve as the backdrop for the installation and play host to future community soccer events. Allstate has also announced a donation of $25,000 to Intentional Sports to aid in the continued growth of the organization and its facility. The donation will help to expand soccer and futsal programming as the nonprofit embraces the local community and the need to provide safe spaces for youth to train in Chicago year-round.
“Allstate’s commitment to protecting people extends to our passion for protecting the game of soccer,” said Dan Keats, director of consumer marketing at Allstate. “We’re investing in resources that will help young players develop their skills, such as giving them easier access to coaching. This mural embodies our commitment to them and the future of the sport.”
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About U.S. Soccer
Founded in 1913, the U.S. Soccer Federation has been the official governing body of the sport in the United States for more than 100 years. During that time, the growth of the sport has grown tremendously at all levels. As U.S. Soccer looks towards the future, its mission is to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States. With a long-term and strategic approach, U.S. Soccer aims to accomplish its mission by supporting its members to increase participation at the youth and adult levels, develop world class players, coaches, and referees to consistently win at the highest levels on the international stage and serve the fans by engaging with them in deeper and more meaningful ways. For more information, visit www.ussoccer.com.
About Black Star
Launched in 2021 in Detroit and Los Angeles, Black Star is committed to cultivating Black soccer culture, increasing access to the sport, and providing player development pathways, on and off the field. Black Star strives to build community through content, storytelling, experiences, and capsule collections as a critical operation as part of For Soccer, North America’s preeminent soccer marketing, media, and experiences company. For Soccer’s specialized consultancy services includes research and insights, strategic consultancy, experiential marketing, multicultural marketing, digital and social media marketing, creative and content, media and distribution, public relations and communications, sponsorship services, creative services, as well as technical soccer expertise. For Soccer’s growing owned and operated property portfolio includes participatory and cultural events, podcasts, OTT, experiential, and playing programs. For information, visit www.Blackstarsoccer.com
About Intentional Sports
Intentional Sports is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing sports programs, facilities, life skills training, and health & wellness training for underprivileged youth and communities that otherwise would not have these opportunities elsewhere. By forging partnerships with community-minded organizations, institutions and athletes, Intentional Sports hosts youth sports academies, camps and national tournaments and youth leagues, helping young people become well-rounded athletes and teammates. For more information, visit www.IntentionalSports.org
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