Charlotte FC’s Chief Fan Officer on his unique role in world sports

As an Italian-American who grew up watching Lazio, Shawn McIntosh is fairly well-placed to guage simply how essential supporters are in soccer.

Charlotte FC employed McIntosh because the membership’s Chief Fan Officer forward of their growth 12 months, putting him accountable for coordinating supporter occasions and ensuring Main League Soccer’s newest franchise is as carefully linked to its area people as attainable.

For a lot of, this sounds just like the dream job; a fan that’s intimately linked to the membership in his metropolis. However McIntosh appreciates the gravity of the position he’s been given, in impact taking up the duty of constructing certain Charlotte FC have a coronary heart and soul. 

“Lifeblood,” was McIntosh’s response when requested by 90min what supporters imply to soccer golf equipment forward of Charlotte FC’s first-ever residence match in March.

He elaborated: “Finally a membership is nothing with out its followers, proper? And it is within the phrase, ‘supporter’. You are a supporter of the membership, however we as a membership are right here to assist our group, assist our followers and be there. 

“It is that group. It is what retains a membership alive. When you consider a membership, after I take into consideration a fan base, after I take into consideration supporters, ultras, no matter you name them, that is the identification of a membership. The sweetness about that is they’re what provides life to a membership. And that tradition is at all times respiratory, shifting, altering. So, the followers are all the things.”

McIntosh describes his position as a ‘bridge’ between each side, ensuring the followers are heard and that the membership is well-informed of what their supporters need and count on.

Charlotte FC’s Chief Fan Officer place was the primary of its variety in international sport and one which has obtained nice curiosity from these probably trying to undertake an analogous position down the road. It additionally exhibits simply how far the membership are keen to go for the individuals who flip up for them each single week.

“I’ve had folks attain out from different golf equipment,” McIntosh mentioned. “Issues like fan engagement positions exist. Issues like supporter liaison positions exist. Mine is somewhat bit distinctive. So, attending to have conversations with those that see what we’re doing, it is a testomony to this membership, the actually hardworking folks right here.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, offered by DoorDash, on 90min channels later this week.

The job can also be a demanding one. Whether or not it’s planning a tifo, monitoring switch rumors, or planning an away street journey, supporters by no means really swap off.

Meaning the identical should apply for McIntosh, although he feels that degree of dedication is the least he can do to repay the loyalty proven by followers who stability work and household lives with giving their all for Charlotte FC.

“I discuss to those women and men in these supporter teams each single day, they’re volunteers. I work for the membership. So, after I’m on the stadium late, it is my job,” mentioned McIntosh. “Now, I am doing it out of ardour and I like my job.

“However our supporters, they have lives, households, jobs, and so they’re on the market grinding, working actually, actually exhausting, speaking to me 24/7. So, in that sense, it isn’t a shock as a result of there’s been a lot work and a degree of ardour there that is been brewing for 2 years.”

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