The picture that MLS4thelou shared on social media yesterday garnered a lot of attention from soccer lovers in St. Louis. Kindle Betz said, “This entire region is so hungry… It makes you really proud that you’re doing something great for the city but also that the people are supporting you. It may be just a picture, but, to them, it’s one step closer to getting a team.”
The ownership team behind #MLS4thelou, met for the first time in-person with MLS commissioner, Don Garber, last week to talk plans for a team in St. Louis.
“We, the ownership group, actually initiated the meeting. We’ve had a lot of really exciting things happen here in the last 6 months,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, one of the female-lead ownership group. “We wanted to make sure we capitalized on the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting to show them that all of the things they’ve asked us to do, we did listen, we’re doing them and we’re doing them well.”
“I thought the meeting and their reaction was very positive and very supportive of everything we’re doing here,” Jim Kanavaugh, ownership partner and CEO of WorldWide Technology chimed in. “They love the location. Love the view… and the more comprehensive view that we have for the experience at the stadium.”
Kavanaugh also said that the league would like to see that MLS4thelou has the support from business leaders and local businesses. The group talked to the commissioner about what is next in regards to sponsors.
Two main sponsors will be a big focus for MLS4thelou to show the league that the city is behind them. First, a stadium sponsor with naming rights and also a sponsor to appear on jerseys. This sponsor will display not just on the MLS team jerseys but likely cascade down to the UFL teams and academy levels.
Kindle Betz and Kavanaugh agreed that, until recently, they didn’t really have sponsorship plans in place to discuss with local businesses. They now have a better idea as to what those plans will look like and will be meeting with companies who want to support the team.
Since St. Louis watched one of the city’s former professional teams take a national beating over the weekend, questions have been raised about similarities, if any, with when the Rams left.
“It’s comparing apples to oranges,” Kavanaugh said in response to whether or not they talked about the Rams leaving St. Louis. “We are so deeply embedded in the St. Louis community…We feel it creates that much more of an opportunity for an MLS team with the hole that the Rams left.”
Fans can help the efforts to bring a team to St. Louis by continuing to publicly show their support. The ownership group wants St. Louis to know that there is still stiff competition for a team. MLS4thelou needs fans to keep sharing photos, liking and sharing posts and actively showing that we are a soccer city.
Also, Kavanaugh and Kindle Betz said the league is paying close attention to the region’s support for St. Louis Football Club. They urge fans to pack the stadium on March 9th for the opening game against Indy Eleven.