What is the Free Beer Movement?
We are a grassroots movement of American soccer fans (Like you! That's why you're here.) sharing our passion for the game with, and to educate, not-yet-converted, but willing, friends, family, and colleagues in exchange for a beer here and there. It's a modest idea to create new and future fans of the game through the power of free beer.
Beer is the medium. Soccer is the message.
Help us "Build American Soccer One Beer at a Time".
We like it. And millions and millions of Americans also like beer. The only thing we all like more than beer is free beer. No one ever, ever turns down a free beer (even a bad one). Free beer has great power to influence people to do things that they normally would not consider doing (Think: Karaoke)
So, wait, I get free beer?
That depends. If you're a soccer fan already.... then no (don't navigate away yet!).
Who gets free beer then?
People who have never or hardly ever watched soccer before. If this is you.... you've got to find a soccer fan willing to buy you a beer.
Why should I go around and spend my hard-earned money buying other people beer? What's in it for me?
First off don't go around buying complete strangers beers. You'll be broke in no time. The FBM is about soccer fans spreading their love to friends, family, and co-workers that don't know soccer yet. Besides people will just get freaked out if you approach them randomly.
Secondly, it's about more than free beer. It's that, as a soccer fan in America, you want the sport to be bigger here and are willing to do something about it.
Free beer is the lure, but American soccer is the message. When you buy a soccer newbie a beer you're committing yourself to helping build soccer in America. You're committing yourself to helping educate these soccer newbies in the ways of soccer. You're helping build a future for the sport in this country.
The people that accompany you to the bar or to the stadium or simply hang out in your living room are all potential soccer fans and if, through your generosity, something is sparked in them to become fans then the sport has just grown ever so slightly. And you've done your little part for soccer in America.
Lastly, because it's fun. Being a sports fan is about being a member of a community of similarly passionate individuals. We're already watching soccer on TV or going to the games so why not bring those same people that you're friends with, are related to, or work with and share with them what makes soccer so great. No soccer fan would argue that they wouldn't want larger crowds, more full bars, and more people to hang out with in front of the TV at home. You've seen the celebrations that followed Landon Donovan's goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup.... don't you want more people to share that with?
That's all well and good, but it's not that simple.
But it is. On a person-by-person basis it may seem insignificant, but as the Free Beer Movement grows each person that commits themselves to the Free Beer Philosophy will be building on the backs of each person that has done the same thing before. Just like recycling.
It's an economics argument. For soccer to grow in the United States it needs more money. More money means better and soccer-specific stadiums, better salaries for better players, funding for club's spending in coaching, youth teams, training grounds and recruiting more businesses to invest in soccer. The only way to ensure the future success of our domestic leagues and national team is to create and nurture a larger and more supportive network of fans that attend games, watch them on TV, purchase merchandise, and spread their love and knowledge of the game to others.
What are we working towards?
1) A country where soccer is mainstream, popular, enjoyed, and understood by a good segment of the American population. A country where people stop criticizing soccer because they don't understand it. Or if someone doesn't understand it, fine, just leave soccer be then. We don't like horse racing that doesn't mean we're going to be a dick about not liking it.
2) We want strong, attractive, and competitive domestic leagues; from Major League Soccer, to second division, to college soccer, to the Women's Professional League. We want American players and players from around the world to want to play soccer in the United States. Just like the world's best players in more other major sports want to play in this country and in our leagues.
3) We want our National Teams (both men's and women's) to consistently compete at the highest levels and win!
4) Building stronger and more active supporters groups for local clubs and country around the nation. Many of the followers of the Free Beer Movement are also members of the American Outlaws, a US Supporters Group, working to "strengthen and unite" American soccer fans and also their local supporters groups.
Well, that seems like a relatively simple idea; why the website for it?
One, this idea needs a home so that it spreads to other soccer fans around the United States. The site is resource for people who want to participate in the Free Beer Movement. It's also a home to celebrate and feature the people who follow the Movement's Philosophy. We'll feature the stories and photos of their free beer successes.
Two, because this site is about more than just the idea of the Free Beer Movement. Because the FBM is about soccer and beer we're focused on covering each other those and when they join forces as well.
Since we're about growing soccer in America its important that we also document it. We're committed to covering the culture of soccer in the U.S. through our writing and photography.
Cool! I'm in! What do I next?
Signing up for e-mail updates, becoming a "fan" on Facebook, and "following us" on Twitter are all good starts, but the next thing you should do is identity those friends, family, and/or co-workers you'd want to invite to see a soccer match at the stadium, in the bar, or the comforts of your living room, explain the Free Beer Movement to them and get them in front of some soccer with a cold beer!
Come back to our website and share your free beer stories and pictures with us. We love to feature our Movement members' successes.
Other questions? Shoot us an e-mail and we'll try and answer them to the best of our abilities.