At Unusual Efforts, we not only want to give voice to individuals rarely heard in soccer media—we also want to give life to the stories that are rarely told to a wide audience. And when to better reach that audience than during the World Cup?
Every news outlet will have a standard preview informing you of players to watch, standout stars, and how far the team is likely to go. We want to go deeper. We want to give you a glimpse of the country behind the squad. We want you to enlighten us about some aspect of the country as it relates to football.
That might have you scratching your head, but take a moment to open your imagination. This could be anything: There are certain squads routinely mocked by English speakers because their names all sound the same–tell us why this is. There are countries that don’t call up their best players (hi, Italy! Oh, you’re not visiting Russia this year? Shame)–is it corruption, or tradition, or something else that prevents these players from getting time? Elsewhere, a country’s most-adored player might not be the one the English-speaking media focuses on–enlighten us as to why the population loves him. You can keep it light (foods players love, a silly tradition the squad has) or you can dive deep (the way racism or homophobia shapes a team, the role of religion within the squad, the difference between the men’s and women’s squad).
We’re of the belief that stories flow best when it’s something you are passionate about, so don’t feel limited to these suggestions. We’ll take the time to talk out your ideas, whether over Twitter or via email, to ensure you’re able to articulate exactly what you want to say. Oh. And these don’t need to be written. If you want to produce a video or a collection of art or anything else that depicts how football and culture come together, let us know and we’ll see how it can be done.
One more thing. We’d love it if these stories were told by people on the ground, living in that country. If that’s not possible, we’d like to have you tell us your connection to the country (heritage, previously lived there, have a network of people able to fill you in on the goings-on). If you just really want to tell a country’s story, please let us know why, and how you plan to tell it, and we’ll chat.
2018 World Cup Countries
(Countries crossed out have been claimed)
Yes, we pay ($25)—because anyone breaking into this business should not work for “exposure.”
If you’d like to support our return and our efforts to bring interesting, insightful, and most of all unusual World Cup stories to the attention of a wider audience, please consider becoming a Patreon.
While you’re here, download the Unusual Efforts World Cup 2018 schedule designed by Kelly Jimenez