The Signal: Major League Soccer (MLS) kicks off its 24th season on Saturday, while the National Women’s Soccer league begins play in April. More money than ever is flowing into the sport, and we identified a number of opportunities you can exploit.

The Opportunity: A new soccer-focused fund (Soccer Ventures) points at opportunities that target the lifestyle side of the sport. Launched by a minority owner of the Philadelphia Union, an MLS franchise, the fund recently announced 3 investments.

  • Football Conferences & Festivals: In a previous Trends report, we covered the little-known but lucrative world of trade shows and conferences. Soccer Ventures investment FootyCon is an opportunity in that vertical. Footycon is a two-day festival that “celebrates the intersection of soccer + culture. It’s the first consumer-facing event that brings soccer, music, art, fashion, technology, and social together in the same place.” As the sport grows, there are opportunities to support many such soccer-inspired events across the country.
  • 5v5 Soccer Leagues: Launched in 2017, The Association is a 5v5 LA-based soccer league boosted by live entertainment such as B-Boy and barber battles, DJs, pop-up artists, and more. For those interested in creating a similar offering, here is a brief how-to guide.
  • Soccer Media & Lifestyle Properties: Soccer Ventures’ 3rd investment is a media property looking to build a vast community of soccer fans interested in all things soccer. Kicks to the Pitch is “a digital content platform that looks to celebrate the connection between soccer and sneakers, art, fashion, and music.” The platform feels like it could potentially do for soccer what 100 Thieves did for e-sports: create an all-encompassing media & lifestyle brand.