By Norm Bour
In an unusual collaboration between youth soccer, legendary soccer heroes and vaping, Las Vegas hosted the first of what could become a seminal event.
Nathan (Nate) Coccimiglio, CEO of Cash Vapes, and his team were parked off the Las Vegas Strip in their notable (and tricked-out) armored truck, enjoying the beautiful Las Vegas afternoon. It was late February and all around were amateur soccer players vying for a hefty grand prize and the chance to go to Dubai for the championship finale.
World Soccer Fives, as the series is called, is the largest amateur football (soccer) tournament in the world. The field of play is smaller than a regulation pitch, about 120 feet by 80 feet, and includes just four outfield players and a goalie. The reference to “fives” is due to the limited number of players on the field at any one time.
“Small-sided soccer” is very fast since the area is much smaller and also differs in the length of regulation play, with no offside rules, no headers, and other restrictions due to size. With smaller fields of play, as many as five or six games were in continuous motion.
These tournaments are open to any sex player over the age of 16, and since this is an amateur event only, several were disqualified. In Las Vegas, the prize pool totaled $125,000 — with $30,000 for first place.
Over 50,000 World Soccer Fives players participated throughout 2015, and the winner in each state went to Chicago for the US Finals followed by a chance to play in Dubai. Team Illinois represented the US at the World Finals, and the event was broadcast on ESPN to millions of viewers worldwide who were captivated with the two-day event. That is significant exposure.
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Who are the Global Legends?
Football (aka soccer, as we call it in the US) is the largest spectator and participatory sport in the world with an estimated 3.5 billion fans. This easily surpasses the popularity of American football with less than 500 million fans. But the passion that soccer fans have for their players is beyond anything we experience in the United States.
Fabio Cannavara, Luis Figo, Andriy Shevchenko and Paul Scholes. These men are Gods to their followers and just a few examples of the quality of players in the retired Global Legends series. These former players travel to Dubai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, and Las Vegas, to the delight of their fans.
In order to be a “Legend” the players must have:
- Won the World Cup
- Won the European Championships
- Won the Champions League
- Played 50+ times for their country
Cash Vapes is supporting this series along with World Soccer Fives as the only vape company sponsor.
We in the vape industry are sometimes accused of being too myopic and not venturing outside our business. This Las Vegas event exposed vaping to a whole new crowd, but there was also a benefit to the attendees as some of them needed product!
“The response here has been good! Some people traveled from overseas and wanted to try American liquids and many ran out of their own product,” Coccimiglio said. Cash Vapes, which also owns Tronic Vapes, brought a full line of liquids including a sub-ohm mini by Amigo Vape.
“It’s all about value,” said Coccimiglio. “Any time you can get out there and give the public the correct message, it’s a wonderful opportunity. In an industry that is constantly pounded from one side or the other, we’re just here to share the facts.”
The Power of Collaboration
How Cash Vapes got involved with this soccer event is an example of the benefits of being open to new opportunities. Since football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world, this seems a logical market.
Kinnon Sandlin, head of World Soccer Fives US, and also a Salt Lake City resident, was a personal friend with Coccimiglio but saw no obvious crossover in their businesses. Until Sandlin shared the distribution network he had available in Europe, China, South America and many other locations. That casual conversation eventually turned into a new joint venture: Current Vape, an e-liquid line which will be available in six flavors.
That product will be manufactured by Cash Vapes and distributed through the new collaboration, primarily in the UK and throughout Europe. They have tens of thousands of potential outlets available.
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When asked about the differences between the US and European markets, Sandlin shared, “We know the rules and regulations in the countries where we plan to distribute. The labels and disclosures are all different, but that is all behind us. Now it’s time to launch.”
Coccimiglio added that the level of sophistication in Europe varies quite a bit. “We plan to offer hardware, but start with the most basic equipment for now and keep it affordable.”
Last year VAPE Magazine covered the 24 Hours of Daytona car race where Molecule Labs CEO Michael Guasch won his series in a car sponsored by Cuttwood. That race was seen by millions of fans worldwide and was one of the most noteworthy efforts to take vaping to the masses.
From a successful e-liquid company, to involvement with advocacy, Cash Vapes is now taking the next step: their own retail shop in Draper, UT. This 3,000 square-foot retail spot will have a commanding edge over the competition since there is very little. Salt Lake City is not anti-vape, but it don’t embrace the industry either.
Coccimiglio, a successful entrepreneur even in pre-vape days, has been fortunate enough to “know the right people” and their new shop will be open in March 2016. We will be visiting and reporting on that shop in the April edition of VAPE magazine.
For more information, go online to: www.cashvape.com or www.currentvape.com for info.
Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors, which offers online educational programs, services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.2 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.