CHICAGO (Nov. 8, 2021) -- As the U.S. Men’s National Team reaches the halfway point of its World Cup qualifying campaign in Cincinnati, Ohio this week with USA-Mexico, presented by Allstate, the Only Forward Art Series marches on with a special piece from Mexican-American artist Sentrock.
The artwork will serve as the centerpiece for a number of activities around USA-Mexico, including an exclusive merchandise drop during FootyCon and an NFT available to fans attending the match. Kickoff from TQL Stadium in Cincinnati is set for 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 12 on ESPN2, Univision and TUDN.
The art series brings the spirit of the “Only Forward” creative campaign to life, highlighting the young, global-minded and resilient nature of the USMNT as it takes on the challenge of World Cup qualifying.
"I was super hyped to jump on this project with FootyCon and U.S. Soccer because it represents something personal for me,” Sentrock said. “As a Mexican-American artist it meant a lot to create artwork that represents both my cultures."
The artwork will debut for purchase exclusively on the NTWRK app on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. ET as part of FootyCon, a first of its kind digital festival that unites soccer’s diverse communities through art, fashion and culture. Fans will be able to purchase poster prints of Sentrock’s art, as well as posters of the previous three installments of the “Only Forward” Art Series.
Fans attending USA-Mexico on Nov. 12 will have the opportunity to download an NFT of the art, thanks to a collaboration between U.S. Soccer and longtime partner Panini America. Fans will find a QR code in their cupholder for access to Panini’s NFT Blockchain to redeem their Only Forward Art Series NFT asset.
Joseph “Sentrock” Perez is a self-taught street artist whose signature bird-masks over human figures have become his hallmark. The bird masks are analogous to humanity- people able to escape to their freedom by placing them in a different reality. Sentrock witnessed street art as a form of expression from an early age, catalyzing his interest to pick up a spray can and develop his own artistic voice. His early art was developed from graffiti in Mexican-American neighborhoods and his works present undertones of hope, freedom and expression while encapsulating his background, empathy and compassion for his community.
The Only Forward Art Series features artworks in all home World Cup qualifying host cities as artists in each local market create bespoke pieces of art that showcase the spirit of the USMNT and celebrate the diversity and inclusion within the sport. The Art Series will continue in the new year with the USMNT’s final three home World Cup qualifying matches vs. El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.
ABOUT FOR SOCCER VENTURESLaunched in November 2019, For Soccer Ventures (FSV) is a new media company, leading a collaborative movement to connect brands and platforms to the diverse American soccer community through immersive storytelling, properties, activations and strategic services. Uniquely positioned within the industry, the company's mission is to advance soccer in the US, both on and off the field. This is achieved through a host of capabilities and properties aimed at putting the fan and player first. FSV's current properties and investments include Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, Alianza de Futbol JUGOtv, YSC Academy, YSC Sports, APL Leagues and Tournaments, Best Soccer Show Podcast, Orange Slices Podcast, and the FSV Soccer Influencer Network.
ABOUT FOOTYCONA first of its kind digital experience, FootyCon focuses on uniting the diverse communities of the sport of soccer through art, fashion, and culture. FootyCon will debut on NTWRK as a one-day digital festival this week on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and Ad Age’s Hottest Brands, NTWRK is the premier North American livestream shopping platform where “entertainment meets e-commerce” (Forbes). Built on a digitally-innovative model of daily product drops, livestream shopping festivals and exclusive partnerships with world-renowned brands and creators, NTWRK has fostered an organic global community of artists and fans since its launch in 2018. Under the motto “Shopping At The Speed of Culture,” NTWRK provides a curated digital shopping experience and access for Gen-Z and millennial consumers.
The Panini Group, established 60 years ago in Modena, Italy, has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles and is the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with official licenses for NFL, NFLPA, NBA, NBPA, FIFA, Premiere League, U.S. Soccer, UFC, MLBPA, NASCAR, College, Disney, Epic Games and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Panini has distribution channels in more than 150 countries and employs a staff of over 1,200. For more information visit us at www.paniniamerica.net, www.paninigroup.com or http://blog.paniniamerica.net/. You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.