Model & Strategy
The sports industry is one of the largest untapped catalysts for social change and philanthropic support. With more than 3B fans and an estimated 240M players, football (soccer in the U.S.) is the world’s largest social phenomenon. Men’s professional football globally produces an estimated $33B per year, and women’s professional football is growing substantially. Yet, the participants in the ecosystem — players, fans, clubs, brands, and sports organizations — and the money they exchange are disconnected from social change movements. The sports industry ecosystem can be an incredible resource for mission-driven organizations, and Common Goal is committed to solving this missed opportunity with the ultimate goal of driving global collaboration toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
Common Goal is a movement-building and grant-making organization uniting the football industry in a shared effort to tackle the world’s most pressing social issues. Common Goal believes that football can advance the global sustainable development goals and unites stakeholders in the football industry to drive progress towards those goals, with focus on five key impact areas: racial justice, gender equity, environmental sustainability, mental health, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
To create lasting and meaningful change, Common Goal connects pledge members with aligned high-impact organizations. Pledge members are participants in the football community — players, managers, brands, and clubs — who pledge 1% of their revenue or salary to Common Goal. This money is then allocated to organizations in their “Football For Good” community — a group of 193 organizations effecting change toward the UN’s Sustainable Goals. These organizations must comply with membership criteria around safeguarding children, establishing financial oversight, and pursuing equity. Considering the industry’s annual production of $33B, at scale Common Goal’s 1% pledge would translate to an additional $330M allocated to environmental and social change initiatives annually. Having developed a model to mobilize significant resources and drive positive impact at scale, Common Goal has the potential to serve as a blueprint for other sports to follow, potentially unlocking millions more in funding for nonprofits globally.
Jürgen co-founded Common Goal (and the precursor organization, streetfootballworld network) to gather the best-in-class social enterprises that promise to increase and/or accelerate impact significantly by integrating football into their local solutions. He has invested the past 25 years in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, mobilizing the football industry to maximize the sport’s contribution to our people and planet. Jürgen has a degree in sports sciences from the German Sports University in Cologne, Germany and studied Roman Languages at Cologne University, followed by a master’s in social sciences at the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia. He also studied at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, as well as THNK Creative Leadership School in Amsterdam.
From 2017 to 2022, Common Goal collected €5.1M through their 1% pledge, and they distributed 90% of it to vetted social impact organizations and projects, mostly to organizations operating in Africa.
In 2022, Common Goal supported, trained, and empowered 3,800 individuals to drive progress in their communities with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. Those individuals include leaders and staff members from organizations and clubs as well as coaches, community leaders, and young people, with an influential reach of 159,000 people globally.
Today, 193 organizations are part of the Common Goal community, implementing programs in over 100 countries, reaching nearly 1,700,000 young people, and engaging a global workforce of 21,000 staff members, coaches, and volunteers.