We should all take a moment today to thank the soccer lords for social media.
How else could a membership manager at Perth Glory Football Club in West Leederville, Australia connect with Columbus Crew fans in Columbus, Ohio?
It all started on August 1, when Chris Edwards individually tweeted all 19 MLS Clubs, asking why he should support each one. A few short days later, the Crew faithful had convinced Chris that he needed to be Columbus ‘Til I Die. In his words, the fans had been brilliant in communicating and engaging with him, which is one of the reasons why he was interested in supporting the club. But for Chris, being able to support the club didn’t just mean being a fan from afar. He wanted to make an impact all the way from Australia, but wasn’t exactly certain how to do so. That was how he and I became connected; one of our season ticket holders recommended he speak to me about some ideas, and we started exchanging (lengthy) emails.
We started to discuss the similarities in the two front offices—Perth Glory plays in the Hyundai A-League, which is incredibly similar in structure to Major League Soccer. Both our clubs played their first season in their respective leagues in 1996. Until Crew Stadium was built in 1999, we started our first few seasons playing out of Ohio Stadium (built for football). Perth has been playing in stadiums structured for cricket or Australian-Rules football as they wait on construction to begin for their updated venue. Michael Garcia and Bobby Despotovski, both former players, work with the club in their front office, just as we’re lucky to have Frankie Hejduk and Duncan Oughton working with ours.
Perth refers to their season ticket holders as “members” of the club, and as a membership manager, Chris works on building their season ticket base. I shared with him the details on Goal 10k and the importance it holds for our club as we get closer and closer to 10,000 season ticket holders. Perth, too, is seeking to reach new membership numbers this season, so we had much to share with each other.
As our conversation turned to talking about the benefits of young players being able to see the game live, it became evident how Chris wanted to support the team. In order to both contribute to Goal 10k and help our local youths, Chris purchased four full season tickets and donated them to Kicks For Kids, a program of the Crew Soccer Foundation. Through Chris’s donation, 72 kids will have the opportunity to see the highest level of the world’s beautiful game live in 2013.
Crew Soccer Nation, please be sure to welcome our new MASSIVE member, Chris Edwards to our family. From the other side of the world, Chris will be touching the lives of our youth right here in Columbus Ohio.
If anyone wants to connect with Chris Edwards…
Perth Glory FC
Written by Crew Season Ticket Account Executive: Melanie Seiser