It was always going to be a challenge for New Balance to enter the soccer market, one that has been long-dominated by adidas and Nike. However, the Massachusetts-based sportswear manufacturer has been making a strong attempt to gain a foothold in the world of soccer by signing kit deals with the likes of Liverpool, Celtic, FC Porto and Sevilla to name a few, while also adding high-profile players like Aaron Ramsey, Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany to its list of sponsored athletes. Despite these commendable efforts, targeting the grassroots players who have been long-exposed to the Swoosh and the Three Stripes may prove to be the most effective strategy. With its newly-formed "Blackout Squad," New Balance aims to "help nurture up and coming grassroots players," by giving 11 hand-picked players the professional gear treatment, while also providing them a chance to get up close and personal with several of the brand's pro ambassadors. Get more information on the burgeoning New Balance Soccer movement here.