Santa Claus popped into the consciousness of American soccer fans in October and it was not due to the cooling weather or the anticipation of the coming holiday but the news that Finnish 3rd division team, FC Santa Claus Arctic Circle, earned promotion to the 2nd division. It was impossible to be on the internet and not see the reaction of the team and the team announcers to the promotion (see below).
And the Rovaniemi based will continue to stay in the minds of soccer fans heading into December and beyond after World Soccer Shop announced today that they have signed a deal to become the official store for Santa and the exclusive provider of the team’s official jersey, training jackets, tees, and hoodies in the U.S. This is the first time FC Santa Claus gear will be available outside of Finland.
“WorldSoccerShop.com is pleased to offer FC Santa Claus apparel just in time for the holidays,” says Jeff Stephens, head of WorldSoccerShop.com. “For the first time ever, FC Santa Claus soccer gear will be offered worldwide through our online store and is the perfect addition to any soccer fans’ unique collection. We look forward to this new partnership as we bring FC Santa Claus to our diverse customer base.”
World Soccer Shop and FC Santa Claus worked together and finalized a deal that makes Puma the official apparel sponsor for the team. The jersey sponsor will be EA Sports and there are rumors that the popular video game will include FC Santa Claus on their list of teams in the future.
“FC Santa Claus’ agreement with WorldSoccerShop.com will allow us to reach people beyond Finland and spread the spirit of good sportsmanship by invoking the name of St. Nicholas himself,” says Juha Eteläinen, chairman of FC Santa Claus. “We look forward to our partnership with WorldSoccerShop.com as FC Santa Claus continues building its awareness among soccer fans across the globe.”
Santa Claus made news with their promotion to the 2nd division but have had played in the Finnish league since 1992 when Rovaniemen Reipas and Rovaniemen Lappi merged. The club thought the new name was appropriate as Rovaniemi’s is described as “the official hometown of Santa Claus”.
With an average annual temperature of 33 degrees Fahrenheit and snow on the ground 175 days of the year it should come as no surprise the team plays games between May and September at their home stadium, Keskuskentta. But the game, much like the work of Santa’s elves, goes on year-round. The club will host the Santa Claus World Cup, an open snow soccer tournament, planned for February and holds the Santa Claus Cup, midnight sun tournament, in July each year.
In addition to the official jersey, there is a line of casual wear that is making its way through Santa’s workshop with these designs approved by Santa. Check them out and let World Soccer Shop know which one you like the best.
World Soccer Shop is the official store of Santa Claus in the United States.