Hello fellow fans,
June was an incredible month for FC Cincinnati supporters. The team we love and support have seemingly turned around their slow start. Coach Koch’s side has yet to lose under the new formation, including knocking out two MLS clubs in US Open Cup play. Not only that, the club has become the talk of the soccer nation and lifted the spirits of our city. It is finally a good time to be a sports fan in Cincinnati.
In times like these, it is easy to take what you have for granted. FC Cincinnati supporters went above and beyond in year one, but breaking 10,000 fans per game wasn’t enough. FC Cincinnati supporters did something unheard of in 2nd division soccer. Fans didn’t solely rely on the club to sell tickets. They bought extra tickets and brought friends and family down to Nippert. The stories of coworkers being won over and parents being persuaded to take in a soccer game warmed my heart. No amount of advertising or ticket staff can do what FC Cincinnati fans did that first year. The true success of soccer in Cincinnati comes from everyone that has “hoped the atmosphere.”
The seeds planted in year one have produced fruit in year two. Year-over-year attendance for league games is over 13% higher. Thanks to you, Cincinnati Soccer Talk experienced the best traffic in our young history almost doubling traffic from June 2016. Over 50% of views on our site this month were from new readers.
A fever has caught on, but that also gives this fan pause. It is not the time to sit back and brag. It is not yet time to assume we will win an MLS bid. Our work as fans is just beginning and complacency can kill a movement.
Monday is a terrible day for print. I normally write one of two types of articles on Monday “Around the East” and “State of Cincinnati Soccer.” On the rare occasion, you visited the site today to view one of those, the column will be back next week. Today, I want to write about building a movement. I want to challenge fans of FC Cincinnati to grow the sport. That may sound silly after the success we have seen, but only a small portion of this city has been reached. We are nowhere near complete.
FC Cincinnati has an amazing sales staff, but they need support more than ever. The true success of FC Cincinnati comes from the supporters. Cincinnati is unique; we live in a large city that operates as a small town. Word spreads fast here, and the opinions of a friend matter more than what we hear from a talking head. Year three will not be a success unless FC Cincinnati fans do what they did in year one; continue to buy extra tickets and continue to bring friends. If you want an example of markets that dried up, look no further than many of the old guard teams in the league. Rochester was the talk of the nation in their day.
If you took the time out of your day to read this, I offer you this challenge. Introduce someone new to a match at home. Let’s pretend this is year one and build a new fan base. We have not reached our potential and the power of supporters vastly outweighs the power of the club. Continue building what you have built. We don’t, we don’t, we don’t mess around.
@bostonkeith for @CincySoccerTalk