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In Canada, other sports like hockey and basketball are so much better covered and discussed at the youth level and I wanted to bring the same sort of “exposure” to the soccer culture here in the country I was born and raised in.

Marcus Hanson

Founder

First Touch Football Canada

× The interview with Marcus Hanson was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

1Tell us about your role as the Founder of First Touch Football Canada. What does a typical day look like for you?

My role as the founder/CEO of FTF Canada is to make sure we are operating at the highest level possible consistently.

We have a great team that does a lot of fantastic work in the fields of marketing, business development, soccer operations, and collegiate recruiting.

So, a typical day would be to make sure we are either hitting our short-term goals or taking the necessary steps to successfully achieve our long-term goals.

2Can you give a brief description of what FTF does and what events and other services you guys usually do? What inspired you to create FTF?

First Touch Football Canada is a Digital Sports Media & Events Company that provides exposure and opportunities for youth Canadian athletes.

Our services include Individual Exposure Combines, Showcase Tournaments, Highlight Video/Tape Creation, Social Media Management, 11v11 Game Recording, Marketing Consultation, Photography, Videography, Event Planning, and Advertising.

What inspired me to create FTF was the lack of exposure players were receiving in this country despite the tremendous amount of talent that exists here in Canada.

In Canada, other sports like hockey and basketball are so much better covered and discussed at the youth level.

I wanted to bring the same “exposure” to the soccer culture here in the country I was born and raised in.

3What sets FTF apart from other digital media and events companies?

I think what sets us apart from other Digital Sports Media and Events companies is our willingness to relate to the “player.”

All of us on our team either played or were involved with youth soccer in Canada. As such, we know exactly what we enjoyed and what we wish was better.

So, now that we can push those initiatives forward through FTF and make a real difference is the reason why we will always (in my humble opinion) set ourselves apart from others who might come or people who have tried to imitate us.

4You served as the captain of the University of Buffalo football team for three years. What things did you learn from that role that continues to help you succeed in your current role?

Relationships. That was the one thing I learned as the captain of an NCAA Division 1 team.

We had people on the team that had different interests, and goals, and came from different backgrounds.

But as the captain, you have to be able to ‘relate’ to everyone and build ‘relationships’ with every single member of the team as they follow your lead.

This helps me today because I’m able to implement this same thing with my team as we are all different and also relate to the different types of organizations or people we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

5How did your playing career as well as previous work experiences help you prepare to have your own digital media and events company?

My playing career definitely impacted why I wanted to start an events company because when I was younger, I would remember all the travel tournaments in the US and Europe my parents would take me to and the amounts of money they would have to spend.

I always had a feeling that there was a market to provide that type of value from an “exposure” standpoint “locally”. So, the idea of running events or providing exposure to Canadian Soccer players was always in the back of my mind.

Then during my Masters Degree, I did an internship with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization. For those who know the Ti-Cats well, you would know they’re very closely linked to the Canadian Premier League through their ownership group.

So, in 2019, I was able to receive first-hand knowledge of how quickly the game in Canada was about to grow.

At that moment, the idea I was “sitting on” — FTF Canada — started to take shape in my head and I was able to execute the project with the help of great partners.

6As a captain back in college and now as the founder of FTF, what do you think are the most important traits of an effective leader?

In my opinion, the most important trait of an effective leader is "quality communication."

Without being able to properly communicate with your staff and others whom you interact with on a daily basis, your leadership won't run at peak efficiency.

7What personal goals do you have for yourself? What eventually do you hope to become in this industry?

My personal goal for myself is to just successfully maintain the operation of FTF as a “main pillar” in Canada Soccer from a leadership standpoint until I retire.

We have many company-related goals that we strive for every day, but personally, for me, it’s just about correctly leading us down the right path with the people I started this journey with.

Mike Cruz Mike's Final Thoughts

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