On Sept. 17, New York City Football Club (NYCFC) announced its new youth-led voting campaign in partnership with Vote.org, the largest nonpartisan voter registration and research-driven, get-out-the-vote (GOTV) organization in the country.
POWER the Vote was created as a result of a conversation within the NYCFC-supported Youth Leadership Council around social injustices across local communities and the nation. POWER the Vote is created, managed and executed by young leaders who design and implement free soccer initiatives that promote health, education and youth enterprise across the five boroughs.
“In 2016, 100 million Americans sat out the election, and too many of them were young people,” said Vote.org CEO, Andrea Hailey. “Their participation matters and Vote.org is excited to be working with NYCFC to provide those voters with the resources they need, fostering the energy from this summer’s protests to ensure young people’s voices are heard and represented.”
Using soccer, the POWER the Vote campaign aims to educate and mobilize young adults, teens and other members of New York City to exercise their right to vote. In partnership with Vote.org, the campaign will work to register voters, allow people to check their registration status and amplify a pledge-to-vote initiative that will sign up New Yorkers under the voting age to receive a text message from Vote.org on their 18th birthday to remind them to vote.
Since the club’s inaugural season, NYCFC has focused on youth-development through City in the Community (CITC) foundation and young leaders training programs. POWER the Vote builds on this history of uplifting the next generation of New Yorkers by providing leadership roles within community programs.
NYCFC Defender and Bronx native, Tayvon Gray, described the importance of youth participation.
“I think it’s important for young people to know what’s going on in the world today,” Gray said. “If you want change, voting is the way. To make yourself heard, I think you should go and vote.”
In addition to encouraging fans and young people to vote, NYCFC has signed-on to Electionday.org, joining more than 700 companies in taking steps to make it easier for staff to vote by giving paid time off.
NYCFC’s support for the new campaign will come to life in several ways, from first team player engagement to amplifying messaging across club platforms, and more. The club kicks off the campaign today with a video featuring players and young leaders.
Additional POWER the Vote activations include:
- Town Halls – A series of virtual town halls for an audience of young New Yorkers with voices from diverse speakers, including local electeds and players from Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), to discuss topics around civic engagement; the Sept. 24 City Hall will showcase a powerful discussion with NYCFC First Team players.
- National Voter Registration Day – Alongside the POWER the Vote young people, NYCFC and CITC will host voter registration events on Sept. 22 at five NYCFC and NYCSI mini-soccer pitches throughout the city, including:
- Hostos Academy (Bronx)
- J Hood Wright (Manhattan)
- Flushing Meadow Corona Park (Queens)
- P.S. 24 (Brooklyn)
- I.S. 49 (Staten Island)
- In-Game Recognition – During Phase 2 of the 2020 MLS season, the Club will integrate POWER the Vote messaging into in-game presentation.
- Staff Volunteering – NYCFC will recognize Election Day as a corporate holiday to empower staff to get out and vote; NYCFC staff will also be volunteering on Voter Registration Day to get fans, youth and other New Yorkers registered to vote.
As the POWER the Vote campaign continues to grow, NYCFC has also joined Rally the Vote, a nonpartisan coalition led by the Sacramento Kings alongside When We All Vote and RISE to bring together professional sports franchises across the country committed to encouraging fans to register to vote and participate in elections.