Building Markets Goes Pro
Right across the street from the Building Markets office is a compound owned by legendary Liberian football star, George Weah. Becoming famous for his “wonder goal” against Verona, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year in 1995. Perhaps inspired by Liberia’s most famous footballer, the kids that make up the third division Ocean Stars Football Club practice in the half soccer field behind the compound.
When the team managers of the Ocean Stars approached Building Markets for sponsorship, we couldn’t resist. Building Markets saw this as a perfect opportunity to push the Buy Local, Build Liberia message further by using the popular medium of football.
The team plays with jerseys featuring our slogan and orange logo throughout Monrovia. Regular season games, which ended in July, take place at the ATS stadium in Central Monrovia. During the regular season break, Building Markets helped the team enter the French Embassy’s peace and reconciliation tournament. The first few games take place in Paynesville, while the finals take place in the ATS. So far, the team has made it pass the first round.
While Building Markets is happy to have another way to get our “buy local” message out to ordinary Liberians, sponsoring a football team is also a way for Building Markets to give back to its immediate community. Keeping youths off the street and engaged in a productive activity like football is important in a place like Liberia where young men do not have many opportunities afforded them. Plus, organized sports teach its participants important life skills, such as teamwork, discipline and social skills – all of which are necessary skills for job attainment and retention.
But perhaps the best benefit of this partnership is the friendly match Building Markets had against the Ocean Stars in August, pictured below, which was held at the Weah compound. Building Markets almost pulled off a victory, but in the end, lost 4-2. Did somebody say rematch?