SEATTLE -- The Seattle Sounders FC awarded over $200,000 to 143 people and 17 small businesses thanks for their first grant cycle in April of the organization's COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The team is adding to the ways fans can contribute and that now includes the opportunity to purchase a special 'At Home Together' tee shirt and sweatshirt. The shirts depict the current squad on a video call. The sales from the shirts has raised over $10,000 in the first week they've been available and that's all thanks to some long time fans.
Keith Edwards is the co-owner of INKER Design and Print in Georgetown. When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, he was quick to pivot, adapting his initial business model to fit the changing times.
"We did a fundraiser for a band that was trying to get a new van and we printed shirts on demand and were able to distribute them direct from the shop," Edwards explains, "when everything changed in the world we kind of adapted and realized that was going to be a great way for us to get people shirts and still keep our business running."
By printing on demand and distributing in house, INKER was the perfect fit for the Sounders' newest project. The organization reached out to Edwards with a design, thanks to long time season ticket holder Bill Wood, and the concept became reality.
"I think the story of this organization is one who's always tried to tap into our fans," says Sounders FC Vice President of Business Operations Taylor Graham. "They are not spectators. They are participants. They are literally participants in this thing we love and that we miss so much right now and whenever there are opportunities to lean on them to help and support their businesses, we're going to do it."
As a season ticket holder himself, since 2010, Edwards was thrilled to have his company involved.
"I love sports. I've loved sports my entire life. The Sonics, the Seahawks, the Sounders, everybody to the point where right now I live in the Chinatown International District so when I look out the window I see both Stadiums. It means a lot to know that this is helping the businesses, not only in my city but directly in my community stay alive and hopefully thrive again when we can all get back out to the Stadiums and enjoy some sports," says Edwards.
INKER Design and Print will continue to print and sell the Sounders shirts until the MLS season resumes. To purchase yours or learn more about the Sounders FC COVID-19 Relief Fund and if you qualify for a grant visit their website at SoundersFC.com.