U.S. Soccer’s First Awards Program Dedicated Solely To Excellence & Achievement In Social Media Is Here!

Following on from the success of the #GrowTheGame pilot which was held in San Diego on April 14 & 15 and saw over 500 people participate in a weekend of soccer related activities, it was only a matter of time before #GrowTheGame picked up its organizing kit and headed to a new host city to act as a catalyst for grassroots change and new conversations between tits local soccer community.

This time #GrowTheGame is going to reach out to a broader online base as it looks to celebrate Social Media Week 2012 and embrace the ability of social media to drive new outcomes for soccer and help it continue its steady march to breaking up the monopoly of the other ‘big four’ American Sports.

There is now more fitting theme for this year’s Social Media Week than “Empowering Change Through Collaboration” and with that at the forefront of our drive for grassroots change in the sport we announce our first event for #GrowTheGame Los Angeles – The Cosmos Awards.

Entries for the 11 award categories are now open with the nomination button being located on the www.growthegame.us website through the ‘Cosmos Awards’ page.

We have included the event details and nomination process below and encourage you to nominate friends or those your respect in the industry for the inaugural awards ceremony to be held on Thursday September 27 in LA.

We look forward to announcing more #GrowTheGame events in the coming weeks and months.

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Welcome to the first ever Cosmos Awards which are the first formal Social Media Awards for U.S. Soccer. The Awards are one of the many proposed projects for the next #GrowTheGame event which is scheduled this September in LA as part of Social Media Week* 2012.

The concept for these awards came from a need to formally acknowledge the exceptional work of clubs, players and the fans that help develop the game through new media platforms.

More often than not we find soccer related news is lost in the clutter of traditional media with more focus, emphasis, commentary and opinion pieces going to the ‘big four’ American sports of American Football, Baseball, Basketball and Ice Hockey.

That’s why it’s important to encourage people to continue to blog, tweet and post original content to not only satisfy the thirst for knowledge of soccer enthusiasts across the country but also fill that void that traditional media has left for the sport in newspapers, radio and television up and down the country.

In short, the awards will recognize and celebrate the most influential members of the U.S. Soccer social media community and celebrate all they have given and continue to give to the sport in the U.S.

Why the Cosmos Awards?

It was decided that we name these awards after the New York Cosmos of the 1970/80s as an acknowledgement of the cultural impact and influence the club had on U.S. Soccer and the ambition of the club to bring World Class players to our shores to help #GrowTheGame.

With the sport largely unnoticed and domestic league struggling it was the Cosmos that brought players of the caliber of Pele and Beckenbauer and single handedly drove new levels of exposure for the sport in the U.S.

It is this passion, commitment and audacity of both individuals and organizations to drive new levels of exposure for the sport in this country that make the Cosmos Awards the most appropriate name for this #GrowTheGame project.

Did you know? Days after Pele’s arrival, the increased media attention caused the Cosmos’ office staff to increase from five people to more than 50.

Awards Night

The awards are due to be held on Thursday September 27 in Los Angeles during  Social Media Week* and #GrowTheGame Los Angeles.

More information on the Awards Night, the venue and ticket allocations will be announced shortly.

The Nomination Process

Soccer fans are encouraged to nominate social media users (across all platforms) for excellence over the past year (July 1 2011 – June 1 2012). Each award recognizes the continued efforts of users to create original content not just a once off tweet or post.

Those nominated must have been a resident of the United States prior to June 1, 2012.

There are an ‘XI’ of categories to be nominated for, with the top 3 vote getters in each category going on to the judging round which will feature prominent players, coaches and analysts from the world of U.S. Soccer to decide who takes out each award. The judging panel’s decision will be final.

Categories Blog It – The best U.S. Soccer Blogger. Original content, thought provoking posts and a commitment to address the topics no-one wants to ask. Flashtag – The best hashtag used over the past year to drive exposure and conversation about a particular issue or event in U.S. Soccer. Campaign Fever – The most creative and coordinated campaign on the internet which saw high levels of traffic and interaction between soccer fans. Going Pro – The best use of social media by a professional soccer club. Future Talent – The best use of social media by a youth soccer club. Women Utd – The best use of social media by a women’s soccer club. Soccer For Social Change – Organizations or individuals that use soccer as the platform for creating a better society or make a substantial difference in people’s lives. Goal TV – Best & most innovative use of video to promote soccer in the U.S. Soccer Influencer – When this person talks about the beautiful game, people listen (and RT). Icon – The best use of social media by a player or former player who is fun, informative and inspirational to soccer fans in the U.S. The Source – The most trusted source of original and timely soccer related news and reporting in the U.S.

How To Nominate

To nominate someone for these award please use the Twitter button below and fill in the blanks. For example to nominate Soccer Support for best hashtag you would fill in ‘I nominate @SoccerSupport for a ‘Cosmos Award’ in the Flashtag category because they #GrowTheGame’

You will need to fill in the Twitter handle and category you are nominating that individual or group for. You will then be contacted by @SoccerSupport with a link to fill in the details of why your nominee should win a Cosmos Award.

Nominations close 9pm PST Friday August 17.

Organizers of The Cosmos Awards will be in touch with those shortlisted shortly after nominations close to discuss the competition in more detail and to obtain further information to help determine who should win that award category.

Sponsoring the Awards

Opportunities exist to sponsor the Cosmos Awards, the Awards night in Los Angeles or specific award categories. For more information e-mail pr@growthegame.us

Stay Updated

Get news about the awards by joining our e-mail list on our home page, reading the Soccer Speak USA blog, becoming a fan of Soccer Support on Facebook, and following @SoccerSupport on Twitter.

Contact Us

For more information on the Awards or other enquiries related to the Awards, #GrowTheGame Los Angeles or Soccer Support email info@growthegame.us

About Us

The Cosmos Awards are produced by Soccer Support, a grassroots organization committed to help soccer realize its potential in the U.S.

For more information on Soccer Support visit www.soccersupport.us

History of the #GrowTheGame Hashtag

Having the grassroots of U.S. soccer coin the phrase #GrowTheGame is more a reflection of where we believe the sport can make the biggest gains in our quest to help it realize its potential. Growing the game will lead to more exposure for clubs and players and a greater pool of resources to share and distribute.

A number of soccer fans (through our Twitter account @SoccerSupport) have been asking about our new hashtag #GrowTheGame and how they can use it effectively to help voice their own ideas and share best practices with other like-minded users online.

When we first started using Twitter we discovered an underlying need for something to bridge that gap between tweeting, being heard and creating a strong online hub for soccer information. That’s why we have introduced a hashtag on Twitter to make connecting with fans & sharing content a much easier process.

The full article from the Soccer Speak USA blog can be found here;

*The Cosmos Awards Are Not Yet An Official Event Or Partner Of Social Media Week

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