PARK Social Soccer is a social action soccer brand. Their goal is to create equal opportunity and change the world through the universal love of soccer and the language of art.
PARK believes that everybody has the right to play and it’s their mission to offer every child that wants to play soccer the same opportunities, passing a ball to a kid in need from around the world for every sale - a true one for one.
We caught up with the founder and Creative Director, Sam Davy, to find out how PARK came to life, and what motivates him to continue elevating his growing brand.
"Our reason to exist is to try and level the playing field, by putting a different message out there about building community and opportunities - it keeps us going."
Sam, who is a designer by trade, has always loved and played football. Having spent 20 years working for other brands, Sam began to lay the groundwork for PARK in 2015.
Drawing influence from his other life experiences, Sam explained to us that while working at Apple, he was involved in many projects with Steve Jobs.
“One day Jobs asked us ‘How can apple do well by doing good?’”, Sam recalls.
“So together we came up with an idea that would’ve been a real game changer, tapping into that grey area between charity and commerce. Unfortunately, Steve fell sick and we were never able to fulfil the project.”
This left Sam inspired who says, "this was back in the early 2000’s, a time when I had rarely even thought of such concepts, but from that moment onwards, the idea has continued to fascinate me."
Sam and Co-founder Tara, on their first giving trip in Lombok, Indonesia (2015).
"I think PARK all started because I have kids and wanted to set an example for them,” he said.
“I still remember having a conversation with my then 11-year-old son about him leaving his football gear out in the garden.
“Seeing damage from the rain and sunshine, there are kids all over the world who would kill for the gear he had forgotten to cherish."
This turned out to be Sam’s light bulb moment, shaping a concept which intertwines art, football, and culture, to give back to the less fortunate all whilst educating the next generation of consumers about better consumption.
Since then PARK has gone from strength-to-strength with global football stars such as Juan Mata, Serge Gnabry, and Keisuke Honda expressing interest and endorsing the project.
Serge Gnabry, for Common Goal x PARK in Ivory Coast.
"It's quite good (to have professional footballers show their interest), it’s rewarding and validating," says Sam.
"In the start-up space, you need to celebrate the wins and build momentum off it.”
“Nobody is there during the darker moments, so it’s important to hold onto your wins for as long as you can."
After speaking to Sam, it quickly became clear that his purpose with PARK goes beyond product - it's about building a message and a movement away from traditional consumption.
In a world where inequality persists, it’s easy for brands to turn a blind eye on the social and environmental impact they have on the world. Being ethically driven is at the very core of who PARK are and that is what separates them from the vast majority of the sportswear market.
"Our reason to exist is to try and level the playing field by putting a different message out there about building community and opportunities - it keeps us going," says Sam.
"It’s definitely hard to transition an existing enterprise into new policies like ours, but for us, we were built on that idea."
PARK is currently working on yet more exciting projects, in the process of expanding their range of apparel and equipment.
PARK Training Ball, Dissected.
"What you’ll see with our new range is a big focus on women's football in addition to our menswear.”
“For the women's line, we aren't prioritising efforts below the mens, but rather treating it as its own unique game.”
“This approach has opened up more creativity in shaping products for the game that continues to grow for women."
It’s an exciting time for this Australian brand whose global impact is only going to continue to grow. We look forward to following PARK’s incredible journey.