has announced a $14 million commitment in support of two initiatives aimed at promoting youth soccer nationwide.
Through the commitment, the will receive $6 million to build a hundred soccer play spaces by 2020, while the company, in collaboration with USSF, will work to transform so-called play deserts into safe and accessible places to play and create more opportunities for youth to get involved in afterschool programs and organized sports.
The company also will award a total of $8 million in grants over four years to local , with the goal of making the sport more accessible to kids between the ages of 5 and 18. Through the program, annual grants of $1,000 will be awarded to eligible schools, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations on behalf of each of the company’s stores and distribution centers, with priority given to organizations serving in-need communities. The grants, the first round of which will be announced in November, can be used to cover player registration fees, field equipment and gear, and professional development for volunteer coaches.
"Target's commitment to soccer brings the game to more kids and families across the country, and increases involvement at all levels, from local youth leagues to professional teams. Our multi-dimensional approach allows us to engage with players, fans and families, no matter how they participate in the sport," said chief marketing officer Rick Gomez. "These two new programs reinforce the importance the game plays at the local level. Both unlock access to youth soccer and give Target the ability to connect with our guests and team members in new ways."