Agreement enables Steel Sports to enter the highly popular youth soccer market;
U.K. Elite Soccer, Inc. set to expand its presence in the segment throughout the U.S.
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif., June 27, 2013 – Steel Sports Inc., a network of branded, participatory and experience-based businesses, today announced it has signed an investment deal with U.K. Elite Soccer, Inc., a youth soccer coaching education and services provider specializing in soccer camps, residential training weeks, management of municipal organizations and club soccer programs, and proprietary clubs and tournaments across 22 states throughout the United States. Further, its subsidiary, Global Team Travel LLC, specializes in international soccer tours.
While the soccer services industry in the U.S. is highly fragmented, U.K. Elite Soccer, headquartered in Cedar Knolls, N.J., currently has approximately 50,000 participants – including 15,000 parent coaches – and direct access to more than 60,000 separate families. The company, which also has operations in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dallas and Seattle, has 40 full time managers, 75 full time coaches (from March through November) and an additional 60 coaches for the summer months (June through August).
“There are about nine million youth soccer players under the age of 18 in the United States, and we believe that we are strategically positioned to reach those players – and their parents – through our top level programs, which include industry-leading camps, tournaments and programs and, most importantly, superior youth coaches,” said U.K. Elite Soccer CEO Mick Smoothey. “Our aim is to strengthen U.K. Elite Soccer’s national brand within the U.S. youth soccer community.”
For 2013, U.K. Elite Soccer will be hosting more than 500 camps, organizing 12 tournaments and managing approximately 200 municipal and club relationships. In addition, Global Team Travel is coordinating international tours for 12 youth teams totaling more than 300 travelers. All of these figures are expected to increase in 2014, said Mr. Smoothey, further underscoring the immense and growing popularity of the game.
“As the numbers of young players continue to rise, it’s important that we also increase the numbers of quality facilities, coaches and programming to meet this demand,” said Bob Armao, Steel Sports’ chief operating officer. “The U.K. Elite Soccer partnership builds on Steel Sports’ aim to promote a lifelong enjoyment of sports and fitness, emphasizing a positive consumer experience while instilling core values of discipline, teamwork, safety, respect and integrity. Further, U.K. Elite Soccer’s strong track record over the past 20-plus years makes this a perfect fit for our portfolio.”
Steel Sports’ current roster of companies includes Baseball Heaven Long Island (BBH), one of the country’s premier baseball and softball centers; Ruckus Sports LLC, a creator of family-based obstacle race courses; Again Faster LLC, an online retailer of gym and exercise equipment, and an interest in two CrossFit exercise centers in California, in Torrance and SouthBay.
About U.K. Elite Soccer Inc.:
U.K. Elite Soccer Inc, founded in 1992, is a private company focused on providing a world-class youth soccer experience. U.K. Elite Soccer offers individual and team soccer training, including residential camps, club teams, international tours and club services. Website: www.ukelite.com.