Charity Football Match Provides Hurricane Relief in Houston

What: Stuart Holden hosted a charity football match for Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.
Why it matters: This event demonstrated how sponsors, athletes, and influencers can come together to make a difference.

Football Philanthropy

On Saturday night, United States soccer legends and celebrities alike joined together to play in a charity match titled “Kick In For Houston” to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Stuart Holden, who starred for the Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo before moving to the English Premier League, organized the event. Holden leveraged his connections from his playing days as well as his star power from his current broadcasting position at Fox Sports 1 to fill the field with notable personalities. The match and a halftime penalty shootout, highlighted by former Olympic skier Bode Miller’s top corner strike, combined to raise over $250,000.

...influencers of all kinds can be used to draw eyes to charitable ventures as well as other domains of sports marketing.

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Famous Personalities Hit the Pitch

The list of names in attendance was quite impressive. Former national team players included Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and veteran Clint Dempsey showed that he has more left in the tank with a tremendous bicycle kick goal. In addition, plenty of athletes from other sports participated in the event. Recently crowned World Series champion Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros snuck onto the field at the end of the game despite his team’s request to fully rest, but the game was too enjoyable to resist. Also in attendance were former NBA MVP Steve Nash and Chad Ochocinco, formerly a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. Notable as well was the presence social media sensation Jake Paul, who was voted the top YouTuber at the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, which shows how influencers of all kinds can be used to draw eyes to charitable ventures as well as other domains of sports marketing.

It was refreshing to see a media company support the philanthropic initiative of an employee.

Fox Sports Shows Support

Sponsors for the event included the Houston Dynamo, Esperos SOHO, and Adidas. Holden’s employer, FS1, showed a replay of the match on Sunday in order to bring further awareness to families still affected by Hurricane Harvey. It was refreshing to see a media company support the philanthropic initiative of an employee, especially one as genuinely invested in the Houston community as Holden.

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David Goldstein @dmgold24

David is from Miami, Florida, where he grew up immersed in a vibrant Hispanic and Latin culture. His professional experiences include coaching Division I soccer and interning for Atlético Nacional S.A. in Medellin, Colombia. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Philosophy and is currently enrolled in the Columbia University Sports Management Master's Program.

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