Skateboarder Bailey Lewis proudly displays his new Austin FC-themed collection from No-Comply Skateshop, complete with fresh scratches from a skate session at House Park (Photo by Eric Goodman)
As an organization, Austin FC is deep in the trenches fighting two wars. The first is a killer in Q2 . Stadium And in hostile football stadiums across the country as the Oaks vie for MLS supremacy. The second, less of a war and more of a crusade, is taking place all over Austin, in places like Empire control room In the seventh east on nights like Tuesday the twenty-first.
He’s been there and then the club’s community mental trust marketing team has made their latest effort to turn a new pocket of like-minded Austinians into soccer fans, if not ardent soccer fans, at least sympathizers with Verdi and Black. They found one in Billy Lewisa skateboarder from Temple, who took over the Austin FC team National Ski Day Celebration – in partnership with a local ski shop do not comply – Brand new shiny green skateboard ride with the Austin FC logo right in the center.
“You can’t get that shit anywhere else. It’s like the local kind of straight shit in Austin,” Luis yelled to the horns of La Murga de Austin, the club’s cheerleader squad. “I’m not really, like, into football like that, but drawing is totally sick. So I’m going to take out ‘damn it.'” from him “.
Capturing the hearts and minds (not to mention disposable income) of community members who care little about the performance of their local sports team in a given week is kind of the holy grail for sports marketing executives looking to maximize their club’s brand. The list of teams that have successfully made their logos synonymous with the cities they call home is a short list: the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a handful of others. James RothAustin FC vice president and chief marketing officer believes the club is well on its way to joining that group.
“The city has really wrapped its arms around the club,” Roth said. “It seems there is something about Verdy and the Lions a little bit more than what happens on the pitch.” “It’s starting to mean something to people where, for example, that’s how they represent Austin. It’s great for them to dress up and be like, ‘I’m so proud to be an Austinite.'”
Rather than model the ATXFC scheme after other sports franchises with strong identities, Roth said the club has instead drawn inspiration from other brands that have proven to resonate in the Texas capital. “We actually compare and think about ourselves Yeti on him. They’re obviously one of our primary partners, but the way they’ve built a community around their company … we look at that in a similar way to say, like, we want this community to mean more than just football. “
Few people understand the challenges of building and maintaining a meaningful brand in Austin better than Elias Bingham, co-owner of No-Comply. The skate shop at House Park in W. 12th has set the tone for the city’s skate culture since 2007 (and recently survived an attempt to demolish its storefront in 2021). Bingham was happy to welcome Austin FC into this space, and he believes the club has done it the right way.
“They didn’t just come in to say, ‘We are this new thing and you meet our needs.’ They were really trying to reach out to different parts of the community and make sure they relate to that,” Bingham said. “They wanted to be a part of it.”
Once again on the football front, Austin FC returns to Q2 for their first MLS game in over a month, on Saturday at 8 p.m., when they face the Oaks. Cuba Tejas rivals FC Dallas In the struggle of the first four teams in the Western Conference.