The road trip. The very words conjure images of convoys of friends, great stories, and memorable experiences. For the Portland Timbers this January, the organization launches a new endeavor, Dribble Oregon sponsored by JELD-WEN Windows and Doors, which takes part of the energy of the Timbers match experience, adds a few favorite players, develops some new community outreach, and tops it off with a pub party to create a traveling roadshow across the state of Oregon.
This first year has the program visiting Klamath Falls (Jan. 8), Eugene/Springfield (Jan. 14), Salem (Jan. 15) and Bend (Jan. 17) all over the course of the next few weeks. Timbers players, coaches, and staff will spread out across the state spreading the Timbers energy to fans—new and old alike.
“Our ascendancy to MLS has been such an exciting thing for our fans, for the city and for the region,” said Timbers COO Mike Golub. “We get a lot of fans from a wide geographical radius, really from all over the state. But we wanted to, in a small way, bring the Timbers to our fans and to different corners of the state.”
The idea for the unique team organization road trip was one that was hatched as early as last year. In the team’s partnership discussions with JELD-WEN, they found a willing and eager partner.
“JELD-WEN really liked the idea and it was something they really wanted to be a part of,” explained Golub. “It was something they really grasped because they too are very much a part of the entire state.”
What can a fan in each of these cities expect? Golub summed it up succinctly, “It’s a day of Timbers immersion.”
Each day in each city starts out with a community outreach event spotlighting the team’s Stand Together initiatives with a local non-profit partner. It then shifts to a soccer clinic with area youth led by some of the team’s academy coaches along with Timbers players—Troy Perkins, Eric Brunner, and Jake Gleeson among others. The whirlwind day then finishes with a “christening” of a local pub as an official Timbers Pub.
RSVP: Klamath Falls Pub Party at Klamath Basin Brewing (All ages) - Jan. 8
RSVP: Eugene/Springfield Pub Party at The Old Pad - Jan. 14
RSVP: Salem Pub Party at Magoo's Sports Bar & Grill - Jan. 15
RSVP: Bend Pub Party at Sideline's Sports Bar & Grill - Jan. 17
While Dribble Oregon is certainly about providing for an exciting day, the added hope is that it has far reaching effects long after each visit is finished. If the team isn’t happening to make it to your town this year, don’t worry. The plan is to make it an annual event visiting and reaching different and new communities each year.
“We think the Timbers have become and will become even more so Oregon’s team,” said Golub. “Many of our games are broadcast throughout the state, we’re looking to increase that distribution of our games on radio and TV. Papers around the state are covering us more and more. We’re introducing our Academy and Olympic Development Program so we’re involved in player development on a state level.”
“So this is a unique way for us to bring the Timbers to the people where they live.”
For a full schedule of events, information on how to register for clinics—many cities still have openings—and how to attend the pub parties, visit the Dribble Oregon page.