We say something’s a perfect fit when it’s truly comfortable from the outset. But when it comes to sports—especially those requiring strenuous running—that fit can be the difference between winning and losing. Thurston County’s Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates (FASA) recently sponsored the Oly Town Artesians Football Club and that’s a win/win partnership for everyone.
FASA marketing staffer Jayden Gilmore was excited when Oly Town co-owner Ryan Perkins reach out. “I played soccer throughout my childhood and up until I graduated from River Ridge High School,” shares Gilmore. “After we had the meeting, it was really inspiring to see all the work that he has been doing for the club like making sure they have proper gear amongst other things. Seeing that from a player’s point of view truly does make you proud.”
Now that they’ve joined forces, “the doctors are ecstatic to visit the team, coaches, and family of the Oly Town Artesians,” Gilmore continues. “We see many athletes especially in soccer have foot and ankle problems so one of the things that we want to help with is preventative care as well. It’s important for us to be able to treat an injury so they can get back on the field as soon as possible, but also explain how we can help prevent the injury, so they don’t end up missing playing time. We are excited to get involved in helping the team be ready for the season.”
This is the first professional-level sports team FASA has sponsored though they’ve worked with youth football and baseball in the past. “It is great to take that next step and support a local team that has recently moved up a league,” says Gilmore. “It’s great to see the other type of local community businesses that are a part of the team because we feel that it just makes our community stronger together. If we spend local, we are helping grow our local economy.”
Perkins is excited for the partnership as well. “Partner sponsors like Jayden and FASA make it possible for players’ soccer dreams to come true,” he says. “Sponsors are what keeps our club competitive and keeps the lights on. We appreciate the opportunity to work with local businesses and advance our soccer initiatives for the community and region.”
The Oly Town Artesians are so much more than just a rec league team. “There is no other soccer organization like the Artesians here locally,” says Perkins. “For decades people had to travel to Seattle for any premier semi-pro, pro-amateur level competition. We offer a path to professionals for adults in soccer. Between Seattle and Portland, there is nothing like it. I think it allows kids to actually have something tangible to watch and get inspired by in town. To have pro athletes, former pro and current NCAA and NAIA high-level soccer athletes playing five minutes from your home is huge.”
But doing so requires dedicated partnerships like this. “Oly Town, because of the nature and novelty of the sports market in Thurston County, is primarily funded by local business partners in the form of marketing and sponsorship,” says Perkins. “Our local partners drive this soccer club’s funding and in return, we actively market our partners to our in-person fans, families and followers on live stream. This program is only as good as its community involvement and the fact that this club has grown to two women’s teams and two men’s teams in 2022 shows the business community’s involvement to increase the soccer opportunities for its residents, both enthusiasts and players alike.”
The club started in 2014 as a men’s competitive indoor arena team and added a women’s indoor program in 2020. Outdoor teams started in 2017 and they were soon invited into the USL Soccer franchise. This “brings the national soccer market to Olympia for the first time ever,” says Perkins. “Former Seattle Sounder, United States national team goalkeeper and Thurston County native Kasey Keller was nice enough to roll out our major USL Soccer announcement in January.”
Interested fans should clear their calendars. “Our first home game is against the U23 Portland Timbers on May 21 which has definitely gotten people’s attention on how serious we are on growing soccer in this community,” says Perkins. “Our women’s outdoor program also has its first inaugural league competition this summer too after successfully entering the Northwest Premier League. So much to look forward to!”
You can follow the Oly Town Artesians on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or their individual online event calendars. To learn more about foot care, wellness, customized shoes and orthotics or other podiatry needs, visit one of five FASA clinics in Pierce, Thurston or Lewis County or schedule a telemedicine visit today. They also offer online patient education and an informative blog spotlighting research, treatment and information so you’re ready to find your next perfect fit as well.