Startup company Socceroof aims to grow the beautiful game in NYC
New York City is fast-paced. It’s one of the social and financial capitals not just in the United States, but also on a global scale. For that reason, the congestion associated with the Big Apple has made it difficult for soccer players -- both young and old -- to find a place to play on a regular basis.
Hopefully that will change in the near future though, with the help of Socceroof -- a startup company co-founded by Jean-David Tartour and Jerome Meary, as well as general manager Jonathan Lupinelli that aims to bring a wide-ranging group of soccer fanatics the ability to find soccer solace in the “Concrete Jungle.”
The company is financially-backed by several of soccer’s most-recognizable figures, including Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, Gerard Houllier (global football figure in charge of Red Bull’s teams throughout the world) and former Paris Saint-Germain owner Patrick Sayer.
Socceroof’s unique blueprint features a number of small-sided soccer fields located on building rooftops, with the first project set to launch in Brooklyn in November or December of this year.
Pro Soccer Talk had the opportunity to meet up with several of Socceroof’s founders and visit the company’s first site -- which provides an exquisite view of New York City’s skyline.
“Our idea is to provide a high-caliber environment for players from across the city,” Meary told PST. “There simply aren’t a lot of places to go in New York where players can find top venues to play soccer, especially during the winter months. With this project, we hope to provide assistance to those people while also offering a fun environment for adults that could tap into the city’s existing nightlife.
“We want to give easy access for everyone in the area. And we believe we can do that. It’s the first really big facility in New York.”
Socceroof is following in the footsteps of a similar project currently thriving in Europe, France in particular, previously created by Tartour. The company, LE FIVE, features 22 venues throughout Europe that have focused on providing players of all ages with world-class facilities to participate in small-sided matches while also giving adults the ability to socialize and relax in a mature setting.
In addition to the 10 fields throughout the Brooklyn site, the company’s first venue will also feature an indoor and outdoor bar area to go along with two decks that overlook Manhattan.
“We have seen the success of the project in Europe and realize that it’s time to help grow the game further here in the U.S., where there is so much potential for soccer’s already-growing culture,” Meary stated.
While the group’s primary focus is aimed towards helping develop the city’s youth players, Socceroof also plans to tap into other areas as well, including corporate get-togethers and adult leagues.
The company also believes that its backing from Major League Soccer will help further its partnerships will local youth clubs and potentially with the two local professional teams as well, in New York City and the New York Red Bulls.
Both Meary and Lupinelli have experience working with the U.S.’ first-division league and hope that their resources will help with the growth of their new venture.
For Lupinelli, he also feels that Socceroof has the opportunity to build something unique when it comes to the company’s community outreach.
“I’m really excited to give back in the area and help develop soccer in New York,” Lupinelli said. “There’s obviously tons of interest in soccer and we want to help players reach their full potential.”
Another way that Socceroof plans to enhance the playing experience for players is with the development of the company’s web application.
The goal of the application is to follow trends already set forth by social media tycoons like Facebook and Twitter in order to connect fellow players and also allow them to track their progress on a game-to-game basis.
“The app will allow you to track your performance, build your dream team, schedule pick-up games, join leagues and ultimately define your own soccer experience,” Lupinelli said.
“The goal for the web app is the “gamification” of soccer. Players will be able to grade each other and their stats will evolve depending on performance results. It’s a little like FIFA (the video game) in real life.”
Below is a brief video of how the first complex will be set up.