Central Kentucky's most renowned youth soccer club, Lexington FC, will join an elite national list this fall when it is branded a Nike Premier Club.
Lexington FC is the first club in Kentucky to gain the prestigious designation and will be one of less than 40 clubs nationwide with that status.
With the agreement, LFC will have access to Nike's global resources in the sport of soccer, which includes elite camps, premier tournaments, dedicated coaching support and education, along with apparel and equipment. All age groups, from the U9 Academy through the U18 boys' and girls' teams, will wear only Nike products.
"Developing this partnership with Nike was the next step as our club evolves into one of the top programs in the region," said Parviz Zartoshty, the LFC director of coaching. "For us to be a Nike Premier Club is a unique and humbling distinction."
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Lexington FC, which is the competitive club of the Lexington Youth Soccer Association, boasts more than 750 participants, 45 teams, and in 2014, won a tournament-record 10 State Cup championships.
Terms of the six-year agreement with Nike were not released, but LFC said the financial considerations will allow the club to enhance current programs.
"One of our club's biggest objectives is to make soccer affordable to our community," Zartoshty said. "A big focus has been to increase our scholarship offerings so that we can tap into the underserved areas of Central Kentucky and get those young people out playing competitive soccer. Thanks to Nike, we hope to really grow that program."
Brian Dahnke of Nike said the "Nike Premier Club" designation is available to only a select number of clubs across the U.S.
In neighboring states, Ohio has only two such clubs and Tennessee one.
"We are thrilled to develop this association with such a club as LFC which owns a rich history in soccer and is widely recognized as the leading club in Kentucky."
With the move to Nike, LFC will unveil new navy and white uniforms later this spring, replacing its previous red and white.