Establishing new connections was the focus of the latest Skandalaris Center event, as it partnered with a new community member, the St. Louis CITY Soccer Club. On July 20, more than 50 people joined the Skandalaris Center at the City Foundry to review presentations by the St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellows from Washington University, which focused on ways the new MLS team can target younger fans. The presentations were followed by a public discussion with members from the CITY SC regarding the importance of a good relationship between teams and their communities, and what measures the new MLS team is taking to connect with St. Louis.
The event began with a closed session, as the WashU Fellows worked together to address ways to introduce the CITY SC brand and experience to St. Louis collegiate audiences. Given an hour and a half, two teams of WashU students mapped out and provided innovative, creative solutions. The teams then presented their recommendations to an audience of community members and a panel of judges, including Matt Sebek, Chief Experience Officer, and Jeremy Tripp, Director of Digital Experience, at CITY SC.
“The presentations we heard today were really great. You could tell these students put a lot of thought into their responses to the problem we gave them, and we got some great recommendations on how to connect our brand with the collegiate community here in St. Louis,” said Matt Sebek, the Chief Experience Officer at St. Louis CITY SC.
Immediately following the WashU student presentations, Cyril Loum, Assistant Director of Venture Development at the Skandalaris Center, led Sebek and Tripp in a discussion highlighting the importance of CITY SC developing connections and meaningful relationships between the city and the team.
“I have a unique experience to be on the same journey as many others in St. Louis with this new MLS team. Before I started my position at St. Louis CITY SC, I really didn’t know much about the game of soccer,” said Jeremy Tripp, the Director of Digital Experience at City SC. “What we’re trying to do here is build something bigger than soccer; it’s for our city. That’s why I am here and that’s why I signed up to do this,” he said.
Several audience members asked questions during the Q&A portion of the discussion, including what the customer’s experience will be like who have little to no knowledge of the game of soccer Matt replied by stating, “the vision for CITY SC games is to be immersive and inclusive. We want you to feel the energy of the city and grow in love with the culture the game creates”.
After the public discussion concluded, attendees had the opportunity to network and enjoy conversations while enjoying food and beverages. “The Skandalaris Center is all about creating a safe and inspiring space that empowers St. Louis community members to make lasting connections with others and build a foundation that is inclusive,” said Cyril Loum. “With the help of CITY SC and the City Foundry, that is exactly what was accomplished today,” he said.
The Skandalaris Center will continue its Summer with Skandy event series through August 3rd. For more information about the Skandalaris Center, and to check out upcoming events, visit Skandalaris.wustl.edu.