Kids in Arlington’s travel soccer programs will play with the Amazon logo on the backs of their jerseys this fall thanks to a sponsorship between the retailing giant and the Arlington Soccer Association.
That’s not the only way Arlington Soccer will make use of the Amazon partnership, according to its press release: the company will also support programs like its Real Madrid Social-Sport Academy After-School Program, which provides soccer instruction to kids who qualify for free and reduced price lunches, and the Girls With Goals program, which encourages girls to give soccer a go.
The partnership was a “natural fit,” says Andrew Bashuk, a spokesperson for Arlington Soccer. In a change from jersey sponsorships in many leagues, Amazon was happy to have its name appear only on the back of the jerseys, Bashuk says, showing it was serious about being a neighbor. (It’s also not the only buzzy company that sponsors local soccer: The Arlington-based news organization Axios is a “champion-level” sponsor of Alexandria’s soccer program.)
Amazon chose Arlington for its “HQ2” project in 2018 following a nationwide search, and it’s been putting its stamp on the county ever since. Part of the pitch was rebranding parts of Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Alexandria as “National Landing,” and Amazon has begun to make an impression on the region physically as well, from its planned “Helix” building to real-estate partner JBG Smith Properties’ push for a more pedestrian friendly Route 1.