Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free Beer Movement In Action: Matthew from San Francisco

(Editor's Note: When we asked our readers for their "Free Beer Movement in Action" stories we sent out an e-mail to several of our soccer friends as well. We had no idea that we'd get such a wonderful response and write up from one of our closest, Matthew, from the absolutely fantastic publication, The Shin Guardian.


For those of you that have never visited, The Shin Guardian, please head over there as soon as you're finished here. By far one of the hardest-working, best written soccer publications on the Internet today.


We asked Matthew for his story of free beer in action and we got a great write-up that perfectly frames our mission and why we're so passionate about soccer in America.)


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TSG passed this (old) FBM sticker to one of the security guys at the Home Depot Center
when we met Mathew (and others) last January to take in the USMNT vs. Honduras.
There is a common axiom in business that maintains the following, "Certain businesses can only be started by certain people."

Microsoft and Bill Gates come to mind or Apple and Steve Jobs.

Not only are these leaders shrewd visionaries, but they have an uncanny sense about their market domain to decipher what product it wants and, perhaps more importantly, is the timing correct.

On no lesser a scale, add Dan Wiersema from the Free Beer Movement into that list. He not of the millions, but of the viable product that doesn't earn him the gate mansion.

As anyone can tell you, soccer in the United States is not synonymous with "big ratings," "major advertising dollars" or "large exposure."

With the advent of a large amalgamation of entertainment options (both media and devices), Americans in particular have a world of "what should I watch" options to choose from. Couple that with the smashmouth value of the NFL and pour in the negative connotations about soccer and cutting through the clutter of entertainment for "American soccer" is at best a challenge.

And that is what makes Dan's creation, The Free Beer Movement, so very compelling.

Dan combined his enthusiasm for the libation with a passion for soccer and created a "movement" around it--not a publication like The Shin Guardian, not a fan group like the American Outlaws, but a full fledged movement predicated on growth that will not earn him a nickel.

In one fell swoop, with a simple axiom of "Building American Soccer One Beer at a Time," FBM removes the struggle for soccer to stand out amongst the competition and merely allows soccer to compete on the generosity of the fans and having a good time.

The message, "A soccer event is a good time," not "Soccer is a growing sport, so you should watch" or "MLS is making headway on catching up with European leagues, so you should watch."

No one that I know of asked Dan to do this and Franke Hedjuk as far as I know has not signed on to be the spokesperson.

That said the MLS Soccer web site as well as some local news organizations both ran features on the Free Beer Movement and that is should be lauded.

You don't see "Free Beer Movements" in the NFL. You don't see them associated to the NHL; I'm not sure why and that's not a putdown. The NHL could use the re-growth.

Dan asked me to tell you my "Free Beer Movement" story.

My story is not necessary about buying a beer for someone who thinks Makélelé is some type of Hawaiian guitar.

Most of my friends either play or watch soccer and the next circle of friends typically don't need any cajoling to see a game.

My Free Beer Movement story is about Dan himself, who perfectly timed his product "The Free Beer Movement" when American soccer could really use a grassroots methodology not specifically associated with the quality of the game to help grow the sport.

The best thing I can do, on The Shin Guardian, or when I visit Danny Coyles for a game is, sure, offer to buy a beer for a newbie if they exist, but then actually tell them about what Dan is doing. When I do tell folks they typically say something that is effectively "What a great idea."

Dan's idea, perfectly timed, perfectly innovated.

So do the same if you would, spread the word.....and buy Dan a beer next time you see it. He's earned it.

Thanks Dan.....

Addendum:

There is a fun story from TSG's earlier days. Dan was one of our first readers and one of the things we try to do at The Shin Guardian is curate the commentary so it's all discussion-focused and not promotional.

Well Dan kept linking to his Free Beer Movement story and I was like, "Bro, you need to calm down on the links to your site. It's about the discussion."

But then I realized that Dan's site traffic is not a personal trophy, he's actually quite nuts about growing his endeavor with no pay or really not much notoriety associated to it.

Dan now has a permanent sponsorship, free of charge, on The Shin Guardian's Beer & Soccer Series page (until North Coast Brewery comes calling). I think that makes our content stronger.

Matthew
The Shin Guardian

Support the Movement. Get the Free Beer Movement T-Shirt. Only from Objectivo.com

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