Creator Series introduces the individuals who are using their inspiration and talent to push football culture forward.
Bowery FC's Carlos Franco has been running with the Blackdogs in NYC's lower east side since the influential grassroots football club were set-up in 2001.
Is the NYC football culture scene the best in the world?
It’s hard to say, I think we have a nice little creative pocket in the Bowery, but I look at it as a global movement. There are plenty of clubs around the world using football as a creative platform for music, art, fashion and design. It has definitely given the sport another layer of interest and from that I think that people have gravitated to it from another dynamic.
Who are you friends(or rivals) with over there?
We’re friends with the boys from Chinatown Soccer Club, Nowhere FC & The Good Life. Sometimes we play in each others kick-arounds, face-off in league play, or just run into one another at our local watering holes.
I do have to say that our friends at Blatte United are BFC’s only real rival. We definitely had some heated clashes back in the day, they are a good side and they are good friends. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to rekindle that rivalry over the summer.
How did Bowery FC get started?
BFC got started by a group of artists and local business owners back in 2001. Later on that year, myself and a couple of other college buddies started playing, and got asked to participate on a regular basis.
Since then, we have evolved from a small 7-on-7 pick-up game to a club of more than 50 active members. All past and present members hail from almost every continent and more than 20 countries around the world.
Some of live footage looks decent, are you guys a good team then?
I think we’re a solid club as a whole. The majority of us played organised football at one point in our lives. A couple of the guys played in college and some of them even went on to play in the professional ranks domestically or in foreign leagues. That raises the quality of the game, whether that be in league play or the clubs Saturday morning run.
Who’s work do you admire creatively over in the U.S.?
In the United States I admire every club that is involved in the grassroots movement of the sport. “Us”, the fans, play an important part in evolving the identity of football in this country.
Through our media platforms, we are creating/curating a lifestyle around the sport that people can relate to and want to be a part of.
How did the Umbro partnership come about?
As we started to entertain the idea of creating apparel that felt authentic to the BFC brand, we started to look at suppliers that could provide a solid base for our creative. As those conversations were being had we had to look no further than to our club kit man, who proposed the idea of Umbro as a possible protagonist.
As that came a reality, the opportunity to work with one of the most iconic brands in the world of football has been a great experience. Having the privilege to inspire and curate the BFC brand under Umbro has let us showcase what we love about it’s design history and aesthetic.
What do you have coming up?
The backbone of BFC is the Saturday morning run. The coming together of friends with a “run till you drop” mentality is what keeps the club going and is what has maintained our presence at Sarah D. Roosevelt Park, our home ground.
We do have three competitive sides that play in the Bowery Premier league, which consists of a men’s team and a coed team that play in the midweek leagues, along with a men’s team in the weekend league. All of the sides are for the most part under 30 and play at a competitive level.
As for touring, were looking to maybe string together a couple of trips on the East Coast and hopefully overseas in 2018/2019.