Who We Are
Challenger Sports is owned and operated by some of the most experienced soccer people in the country.
Our team of full-time staff across the country now provides a comprehensive range of services and products. We understand that players, coaches, parents, and administrators all have different needs and priorities, and by listening to our customers through the years, we have created a TOTAL SOCCER company that caters to everyone involved in the game.
The History of Challenger
Ron Matsch starts All American Indoor Sports in Lenexa, KS and begins running summer soccer camps staffed primarily by British coaches
Alan Jones and Peter Arch begin working for British Soccer Camps as full time employees and begin to grow the number of campers attending programs.
Challenger Sports is formed with the aim of increasing the number of British Soccer campers (around 10,000 kids around that time) while offering complimentary soccer services.
Paul Lawrence and Derek Shoare join the company in Kansas with Andy Bennett starting the first regional Challenger office in Atlanta, GA
Camps begin to grow at a rapid pace with a 48% increase in the first year
Expansion in the 2000's
Challenger expands its summer camps to a 10 month ‘Academy’ program using British coaches from February through to November across the country as the number of regional offices begins to expand
Using the apparel background and expertise of Mike Blumenthal, Challenger starts manufacturing its own line of soccer uniforms called Challenger Teamwear
Challenger begins to run its own tournaments in Kansas City and takes its first group of children and parents on a soccer tour of Britain
A landmark achievement.
Camps have now grown to over 100,000 campers in the summer, plus running 8 tournaments in the Kansas City area. In addition, Challenger now works with hundreds of clubs across the country through its Academy and Tours programs.
To help grow the Academy division, Challenger purchases TetraBrazil Camps utilizing Brazilian coaches to supplement the British coaches.
Challenger's fulltime staff has by now grown to over 50, including adding newer members of today's management team, such as David Rush, Grant Hall, Alex Green, Daniel Miller, Alex Green and Ben Beer.
Continuing the growth: The 2010s
Challenger purchases a residential camper business called SoccerPlus. This company is run by Tony DiCicco who gained fame by leading the US Women’s national team to win the 1997 Women’s World Cup
Challenger grows to 115,000 summer campers, 12 tournaments, over 200 club trainers in the Academy program, and 500 travelers on their international tours. Teamwear exceeds $10MM in sales and starts to distribute Under Armour
Challenger launches a UK franchise division, that focuses on teaching young children (called TinyTykes) and goalkeepers (called GK Icon)
Challenger grows the number of regional offices to 13 across the country, employing over 150 full time staff and 650 seasonal staff. The landscape is changing as soccer clubs across the country begin to professionalize and run their own programs.
Challenger camps are rebranded as International Camps to reflect the growth of North American based coaches and the increasing difficulty of using foreign coaches due to visa restrictions.
Apparel sales continue to grow and Challenger Teamwear begins to distribute Adidas.
Challenger establishes its Study and Play Abroad program.
Challenger corroborates with a technology company out of Denver, Co called TopYa, with the aim of creating a broad range of digital solutions to support the various Challenger programs
2020 - Present:
Uniting in the face of adversity.
Challenger Sports & Teamwear are significantly affected by the Coronavirus, resulting in a substantial decrease in company revenues and the number of employees. Various divisions and partnerships sadly come to an end; like the rest of the world it's time to get back to basics. Time to regrow the game.
Challenger begins to rebound from COVID-19 as sports programs begin to open up.
Despite not being allowed to bring over any foreign coaches, summer camp numbers continue to make Challenger the most popular soccer camp in the USA.
Some within the company believe that the fact that we managed to cater for 35,000 kids so soon after a global pandemic could in fact be our greatest achievement.
Challenger partners with both Integrity over Income and LeagueApps to rebrand and build out THIS website.
International Soccer Camps becomes Core Camps, and Challenger strike up a partnership with the SPIRE Academy.
Our Foundational Skills Camps are born and we add Darren Laver and his Creative Skills Camps to our offerings, completing our plans to provide a true player pathway.
We are excited to continue to ignite the passion.
Here's to the next chapter.
Experience Challenger Today
Our mission remains to ignite the passion. Get involved.
Speak to someone in your area
We have fulltime staff all over North America and we love to hear from people from all over the world.
Find Camps In Your Area
We continue to run programs all over North America for players of all ages and ability level.