Boulder, Colo., Oct. 21, 2015 – The18, an online content and commerce platform designed to meet the growing needs of soccer enthusiasts in the U.S. and around the world, recently raised $1 million in funding from individual investors. The company will use the capital to substantially expand all areas of business operations including site evolution, content development, staffing, technology resources, product development and marketing.
“We are extremely pleased with the success and growth The18 has experienced since our launch last year,” said Pete Burridge, President and CEO of The18. “We look forward to expanding the breadth and depth of our content offerings, as well as further ramping up our business development and monetization opportunities.”
Long considered the most popular sport worldwide, soccer continues to rapidly grow in prominence in the U.S., especially among the millennial generation. Research shows that, behind American football, it is now the second most popular sport in the U.S. among those under the age of 30—which closely tracks with the age demographics of The18’s primary audience—and it is the most popular sport among all Latinos in the U.S. Currently, there are an estimated 80 million soccer fans nationwide.
With rapid growth to approximately 700,000 monthly visits since its launch in April 2014, The18 offers a holistic experience that allows users to indulge all aspects of their passion for soccer. The18 is built on a model of contextual commerce and distributed content; featuring robust daily soccer news coverage and commentary, a library of training resources, a community where fans can interact with each day's best social content and upload their own soccer-related content and a collection of the latest soccer apparel and gear available for sale.
“This funding will help us build on our successful model of contextual commerce and distributed content. We want to get compelling soccer content in front of consumers where they are and when they want it,” The18’s Executive Vice President Matt Jenkins said. “We have major potential to activate a large number of buyers of apparel, gear and training content by offering our customers a seamless experience between the content they want to consume and items they want to purchase.”