Underdog Trailer: Sons of Ben – Fans of a Team They Wished Into Existence!

Sons of Ben - Crowd5

One of the most unusual underdog stories is sports i not about a player or team who overcame overwhelming odds to become champion.

Nope, this story is about Philadelphia soccer fans who took it upon themselves to pressure Major League Soccer (MLS) into granting the city of Philadelphia a franchise (when the league was formed, Philly, the 4th largest market in the U.S. was left out) – in a stadium in a poverty-stricken area of town; during a one of the worst financial crises in the city’s history.

They called themselves The Sons of Ben (after Benjamin Franklin) and their story is told in the resurrected documentary Sons of Ben (like I said, this is a colossal underdog story). Check out the trailer after the break and learn more.

Sons of Ben premieres on DVD and all VOD platforms on July 22nd.

Soccer Superfan Doc Sons of Ben Gets DVD & Digital Launch On July 22nd

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Preorder iTunes US: http://apple.co/28M73HB; iTunes Canada: http://apple.co/28LG0cN

Gravitas Ventures will distribute across all North American digital and TVOD platforms, including Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Xbox in the US and Canada. Cable platforms include Dish, Cox, Charter, DirecTV, Verizon, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Insight, Wow, RCN, Eastlink TV, Rogers, and Shaw. Bell and Dieffenbach also announced that they will be re-launching the film on DVD, which had previously only been available on a very limited basis.

A candid, surprising and crowd-pleasing David vs. Goliath tale, Sons of Ben tells the story of how a rag tag but dedicated small group of Philly area soccer fans managed to land Philadelphia a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise by creating a supporters group before the team ever existed.

Dubbed the Sons Of Ben (named after Philadelphia’s favorite son Ben Franklin), the group was founded in 2007 with the goal of convincing MLS to place an expansion franchise in the country’s 4th largest media market. The group had a modest goal: recruit 100 members in their first year. Not only did they reach 1,500 members in less time than that, but they captured the attention of local and national media and fans from around the league (not always favorably) and even the MLS itself.


“It was the spirit of the Sons of Ben that helped persuade the league to bring this franchise to Philadelphia.” – Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell

The story of how this rough-around-the-edges group of superfans managed to achieve their goal in a scant 13 months is one of the most unbelievable off-the-field stories in sports history. Battling not against an obvious “bad guy” like a corporate titan or existing sports team, the Sons of Ben had to overcome a global economic meltdown, a media establishment with a knee-jerk anti-soccer mindset, and even basic common sense—to achieve a first in sports.


“It was the Philadelphia sports fans’ mindset that got this done and first attracted us to the project,” said Delaware Valley native director Bell, adding, “and we’re so happy to be getting this release from Gravitas. Worldwide, soccer is the biggest sport there is, and we’re looking forward to bringing Sons of Ben to audiences around the country and around the world.”

Not only did the Sons of Ben spearhead the movement to bring an MLS franchise to Philly, but they also became a major philanthropic force for good, raising over $50,000 for various hunger, homeless and youth soccer charities in Chester, PA and the rest of the Delaware Valley.

The film was invited to festivals in Berlin, Tokyo, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, and Bilbao before it was even completed, and won the Gran Prix at the Tokyo International Football Film Festival. Finally, the few copies of the DVD that trickled out from the producers last fall got the attention of several media, who praised the film:

“…a well-made and really enjoyable film on the most unlikely story of genesis in stateside pro sports.”
— Leander Schaerlaeckens, Yahoo! Sports

“If you are a fan of the Philadelphia Union… Sons of Ben member or not, you should own a copy of this film…If you simply think soccer has a place in this city, in this country, you should own a copy of this film…. Sons of Ben: The Movie is a film about the power of belief. And we could all use some more of that.”
–Ed Farnsworth, The Philly Soccer Page

“Brilliant…To Rothbury Road Productions cheers to you fine people. Job well done.”
—John Whitesall, Fansided

“Grounded by a great story…propelled forward by sheer force of the story it’s telling.”
—Sam Coffey, The Awards Circuit (3 stars of 4)

“…a riveting and, at times, emotional journey. It is a very well done documentary that should be seen, whether a sports fan or not.”

“Sons of Ben makes a persuasive argument that the Sons of Ben, at least, are a true religion of love.”
— Christian Robshaw, Mr. Rumsey’s Musings