A winning combo: Albion Pros deliver the experience

As a startup team, the Albion Pros Professional Soccer organization scored a goal in terms of their fan engagement.

On Saturday, March 12th, 2016, the Albion Pros played its second match of its inaugural season against the Chula Vista Football Club at Mission Bay High School, a San Diego “derby.”

The Albion Pros Club is a member of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), and its first-ever game had over 2,000 attendees. While the second match did not draw as big a crowd, the stands were still packed as fans cheered the team to a 3-1 victory over Chula Vista FC.

One of the current students, Jessica Washington (SMBA ’17), volunteered at the event and saw first-hand all of the different pieces that go into putting on a successful soccer match.

Jessica and Ian (SMBA '16) in the press box.
Jessica (SMBA ’17) and Ian (SMBA ’16) in the press box.

When you arrive at an Albion Pros match, one of the things you will immediately notice is the tremendous amount of sponsors that are recognized all around the stadium. The team’s main sponsor is Puma, and their logo can be seen throughout the stadium on signs as well as team apparel that the staff and most of the fans adorned throughout the match.

Jessica helped the operations staff set up the numerous signs around the stadium, the team merchandise tent, and other activations from sponsors like Vavi, G-Form, and Los Primos Mexican Food. One important component of Albion’s mission is to provide the fans with an awesome match day experience. Other than the game itself, there were several activities taking place including face painting and balloon animals for kids, chair massages, and games.

Another entertaining component was Albion’s personal pep squad, The Deep End, who rallied the crowd with chants and battle cries throughout the match. During the match, Jessica ushered fans into the bleachers, notified them of the many activities, and captured all of the great fan moments on camera.

Ian Cook (SMBA ’16) is the team’s Social Media Specialist. Ian is responsible for raising awareness for the team via digital marketing and social media, and actively engaging the fans during the match. Jessica was able to see some of the marketing collateral that Ian created during the match and also sit with him as he made sure all of the various sponsors had been properly recognized.

Overall, the match was a great experience. It is mind-blowing that the team has such a dedicated and spirited following in their first season. Albion will be on the road for the next few weeks, but the next home match will take place on April 9th at 5 pm versus Temecula FC, back at Mission Bay High School.