It’s been a big off-season for sponsorships at Richmond FC, but our new club sponsor takes things to a whole new level.

TGS Esports, online video game tournament operators and owners of The Gaming Stadium on Richmond’s No. 3 Rd, has joined the RFC family with a 5-figure deal that we believe is a record for single season youth soccer sponsorships in BC.

TGS will adorn the front of our new jerseys, will be title sponsor of our Thanksgiving tournament, and will run a FIFA 21 online esports tournament for the club in the next six months that will serve as a pilot for an eventual province-wide club tournament. The deal will also allow the club to use The Gaming Stadium’s No. 3 Rd location for fundraisers through the year, and participants in the Thanksgiving tournament will be offered discounted entry to an e-sports tournament event held at the Vancouver Convention Centre that weekend.

“As a company, we know it’s important to be a meaningful part of our community, and we love what RFC is doing,” said TGS CEO Spiro Khouri, adding, “We wanted to think outside the box and come up with ways both parties could benefit beyond simply handing over a cheque, and we see this as a first step towards something bigger across the province.”

“This really is the cherry on top of our sponsor fundraising initiatives over the last six months, with Coho Commissary paying for our Free Football program with the Richmond Food Bank and Go Auto Columbia Chrysler making our car lottery possible,” said RFC Chair Chris Parry. “We know the kids enjoy having a sponsor on their shirts like the professionals do – now they’ll have several beyond the usual Tim Hortons program, and the revenue will allow us to keep program costs where they are while still growing the club.”

Former European professional player and RFC Executive Director Marius Roevde says the new deals are a sign that the corporate world in Richmond is seeing what we’re building, and wants to be a part of that growth.

“Our summer camps have been at capacity, our open development programs are seeing strong growth, the toddler program was a big success and we’ll build on that, and the Free Football program and indigenous partnerships take soccer to entirely new groups of kids,” said Roevde, adding, “And that’s all without raising fees, which was a promise we made to our members.”

As part of the new deal, RFC players will receive a brand new sponsored (dark blue) home and (orange) away playing kit that they can keep after the season. This changes a long standing program of returning playing kit at the end of each season, to be laundered and handed out again, which often saw jerseys being used for as long as six years.

“Six years of grass stains on a white shirt..” says Roevde. “We figured we could do better.”

Registration for the fall/winter programs remains open.