Audi of America is debuting a digital series focusing on young athletes and their efforts to become Major League Soccer pros.
Launching across Bleacher Report’s B/R Football channels Aug. 19, five episodes feature Sporting Kansas City’s MLS youth academy.
The series gives fans a first-hand account of how MLS youth Academies and Audi are working to ensure the next generation of athletes is ready to compete at an elite level, says Shawna Burtscher, director of Experiential Marketing at Audi of America.
A program funded by Audi, Audi Goals Drive Progress, allows MLS Academies to support youth players by removing barriers that would otherwise impede success, such as limited access to transportation. These funds also support players’ educations to ensure their success off the field.
“With Audi Goals Drive Progress, we literally put ‘our money where our mouth is,’” Burtscher tells Marketing Daily. “Fans have seen Audi’s financial contribution to MLS Youth Academies in every MLS match broadcast (starting last season) with every goal scored. ‘THE ACADEMY’ showcases the impact those funds provide and the tremendous sacrifices these young players make in pursuit of their professional dreams.”
The documentary series will provide a detailed look at tactical meetings, closed training sessions, and how Sporting Kansas City’s Academy managed the transition to remote and virtual trainings, as well as season delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of April 2020, Audi has committed more than $1 million dollars to MLS Academies across North America. Since March 2020, 10 MLS Academy players who benefitted from the program have been signed to First team, Homegrown pro contracts.