NYCFC names first-ever “Small Business of NYCFC”

The NYCFC jersey with Sol Cacao on its sleeve.
Courtesy of NYCFC

NYCFC named its first-ever “Small Business of NYCFC” partnership on Monday to a Bronx-based small craft chocolate company, Sol Cacao.

More than 50 small business from across the city applied for this opportunity and Sol Cacao came out on top. They will receive a full NYCFC sponsorship package for the 2021 season and be officially named the “Small Business of the Club.”

On Monday morning, the First Team players (James Sands and Seb Ibeagha) joined Matt Goodman,NYCFC COO, Chief Commercial Officer, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and local electedsas they bestowed the honor to the Sol Cacao team. The business will also have a patch on the NYCFC jerseys, making it the first franchise across Major League Soccer to feature a local small business on the team’s jersey sleeve.

“We are thrilled to gift our sleeve asset to Sol Cacao, and with our Mastercard teammates, we took an innovative approach to this partner asset and are activating a cause-marketing campaign to do our part in supporting a very deserving local company that shares our Bronx home,” Goodman said. “We are proud to team up with our terrific partners at Mastercard to provide one extremely worthy Bronx-based small business a needed lift as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact New York City. Small businesses are the heart of New York City; we are grateful to have a partner in Mastercard that shares our values of elevating and providing support to the small businesses and communities across the five boroughs that we are so proud to represent.”

Sol Cacao will receive in-stadium and digital placements that provide high-valued exposure during home games, field level LED ribbon boards elevating the brand’s advertising value to fans in-stadium as well as media platforms, high-production video content and marketing consultation, digital packaging on club channels, among other assets.

To help Sol Cacao further grow and digitally enhance their business, Mastercard also surprised them with a substantial Digital Doors Tool Kit inclusive of Mastercard’s Digital Diagnostic, one-on-one mentorship, as well as resources from Jobble, Mastercard Trust Center, Microsoft Advertising, SimplyPayMe and Zoho. Additionally, the toolkit includes new, Mastercard cybersecurity tools developed to help small businesses defend themselves against cyber threats – Mastercard ID Theft ProtectionTM and My Cyber Risk powered by RiskRecon.

The co-owners of Sol Cacao, brothers Daniel, Dominic and Nicholas, have a family legacy of chocolate making. Their grandmother was a chocolatier in Trinidad and Tobago. Now, they are using their heritage to bring the highest quality and unique craftsmanship to the Bronx and are dedicated to uplifting the local Bronx community through neighborhood outreach and job creation.

“The Bronx is home to hip-hop, Major League Baseball and Soccer, and we aim to add chocolate to the list of contributions the Bronx gives to New York City and the world and being named the first-ever official Small Business Partner of New York City FC is an opportunity to inspire the future generation of chocolate makers,” said Sol Cacao Co-Founder Daniel Maloney. “We created Sol Cacao to be a place where anyone eager to learn can be inspired, and only through partnerships like this can we create a truly New York experience that reflects the grit, perseverance, and teamwork that is the fabric of this great city.”