GIS to Bring Schalke’s Presence in the USA to New Level
FC Schalke 04, the world-renowned German soccer team that plays in the top-flight Bundesliga, announced a partnership with Global Image Sports (GIS), a global soccer company that holds relationships with hundreds of youth clubs throughout North America.
The “04” in the Schalke’s name celebrates the year it was formed and the Bundesliga top tier club has a long and successful legacy of being one the world’s top professional clubs with a rich history of developing players.
America is an important market and Schalke is stepping up to make an impact.
Rival Borussia Dortmund may have carved out a stronger presence in America, with Christian Pulisic, who is now out on loan to English club Chelsea, playing attacking midfielder for the German club — but Schalke is not far behind with Weston McKennie, one of five first-time candidates for the U.S. Soccer 2018 Male Player of the Year award and Atlanta United Academy’s Zyen Jones among several other Americans training at Schalke.
Recently Schalke signed a partnership with Kick It 3v3, the nation’s largest grassroots soccer tournament, and now will also receive access to the vast portfolio of relationships that GIS has developed since their founding in 2010.
Schalke’s famous youth academy, known as “Knappenschmiede,” is widely regarded as one of the best developmental programs in the world. With youth development being a key focus for Schalke, the GIS partnership provides a targeted platform for scouting promising talent.
The partnership will also include knowledge-sharing, youth clinics run by Schalke coaches, and opportunities for US players to travel to Germany to train with Schalke’s academy coaches.
“Schalke has been on our radar for a long time, and we’re thrilled to partner with this legendary club,” said Joe Davis, Senior Partnership Development Manager at GIS. “With the trend of young Americans starting their careers in Germany, the rising popularity of the Bundesliga, and Schalke’sprestigious status in world football, we believe that Schalke is the perfect addition to our family of professional partners.”
“We’re looking forward to taking this step with GIS to expand our presence and scouting efforts in North America, ” said Alexander Jobst, Member of the Managing Board for FC Schalke 04. “We’re also excited about sharing our knowledge and bringing the power and tradition of Schalke to youth soccer clubs across the continent.”
Based in the Ruhr area, the club’s nickname “Die Knappen” stems from the old German word for miners because in the early days, many players were from the coal mines of Gelsenkirchen. Now the club has more than 156,000 members, making it the fourth largest sports club in the world in terms of membership.
FC Schalke also regularly plays in top international soccer competition including the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Schalke secured a spot in the current Champions League by clinching second place in the Bundesliga.