VICE PRESIDENT, FAN EXPERIENCE - FC CINCINNATI
FC Cincinnati is a Major League Soccer team playing at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally founded in 2015 by Carl H. Lindner III and current co-CEO Jeff Berding, FCC began play in the United Soccer League (USL) in 2016. FCC entered MLS as the 24th team in 2019. The club’s wide and diverse ownership group is led by controlling owner Carl H. Lindner III; as well as managing owners Meg Whitman and Dr. Griff Harsh; Scott Farmer; and George Joseph. FC Cincinnati opened the Club’s privately funded, 26,000-seat soccer-specific TQL Stadium in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati in 2021, a venue which has won numerous global awards including the World Football Summit Best Venue 2022 in Madrid and the 2022 Prix Versailles World Title in the Sports Category in Paris, France. The club earned its first MLS Cup Playoffs berth in 2022, advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinal as the no. 5 seed. The club won the 2018 USL Regular-Season Championship in record-setting fashion and earned postseason berths in all three of its USL seasons. In 2017, FC Cincinnati also advanced to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a run that included victories over two MLS squads.
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The Vice President of Fan Experience shall be an “imagineer” who is passionate about wanting to agonize over every single detail, macro & micro, of how our events (matches and other events) are presented, consumed and received. The VP Fan Experience plays a crucial role in the continued growth and history of FC Cincinnati. This position will not only be responsible for pioneering, defining, imagining, developing, evaluating, and evolving our fan experience, but will also have a voice across our entire organization.
For FC Cincinnati, our brand IS the experience, and the “consumers” are not only attendees, but also all customers & fans, viewers, players (even opposing players), sponsors, media and staff who experience each moment of every interaction through the lens of ever-evolving technology, music, video, live performances and yet-to-be-discovered “content.”
Direct management for the role shall include the oversight of all aspects of the FC Cincinnati event presentation, consumer products, and fan experience. This role must provide thought leadership and cross functional leadership.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
Conceive an innovative and creative vision and framework for the department, leading to an organizational structure, budget and plan for the group.
Bring the FC Cincinnati brand to life, encompassing the brand pillars and establishing an identity that resonates with the fan base across all sectors.
Ideate, develop and implement the organization’s event presentation philosophy, positioning, at-event “brand” and overall event coordination for FC Cincinnati home matches, Mercy Health Plaza, watch parties, appearances in the community, etc.
Collaborate and provide direction on the creation of video board content for all home matches and special events.
Conceptualize, develop and facilitate the implementation of the creative for programming related to all in-arena entertainment (e.g. mascot skits, performances, contests, music, etc.).
Ensure the best music is carefully selected given the event, opponent, theme night, in-game situation, etc. Strategically develop and select from this list based on current events, innovative ideas and unique experiences.
Lead a consistent fan experience across all properties (music, look and feel, etc.) and plans that scale between broad and focused key audiences.
Compile and leverage consumer research to identify new fan experience enhancements and establish best practices.
Collaborate with the Information Technology department on the latest trends of game presentation, production, broadcasting and special events to continually and endlessly improve overall fan interaction.
Lead the exploration, design, and implementation of technology/theatrical elements to enhance the overall event presentation and truly make it best in class.
Develop gameday communication channels required to achieve successful results.
Work closely with executive leadership and across departments to utilize creative resources and ideas that enhance the entertainment and event production.
Develop and oversee corporate partnership inventory within game presentation and special events while coordinating clients’ needs to help meet and exceed expectations.
Collaborate with corporate partnership, marketing, community relations and other departments to ensure individual departmental needs (e.g. promotions, on-field activities, etc.) are satisfied while proactively bringing ideas to those groups to help further organizational goals.
Oversee the proper execution and implementation of all promotional elements (sponsored or otherwise) during matches.
Oversight of department responsible for retail consumer product operations including but not limited to fan stores onsite and outside TQL Stadium.
Manage internal relationships with vendors, facility, affiliates and entertainers.
Develop standard operating procedures, checklists, and training materials for areas of oversight and institute a culture of process and accountability.
Create comprehensive rundowns for Event Presentations.
Maintain all game standards pertaining to MLS league rules and regulations, as well as establish a strong relationship with the league office for the purposes of best practice sharing.
Spearhead efforts in creation and fulfillment of marketing plans and strategies in an effort to increase department revenue and attendance while continually improving the fan experience.
Develop timing sheets, game scripts and plans, conduct and evaluate effectiveness of game-day promotional and entertainment activities and promotions.
Serve as main game day producer in charge of execution of all game day related fan experience elements such as video board production, run of show, fan zones, etc.
Establish a consumer-centric culture across FCC’s matchday.
Support Enterprise-level initiatives as the organization continues to venture into new avenues and opportunities.
Extensive experience and a proven track record in live event and/or sports production with a widespread knowledge of creative entertainment, game operations, event logistics, technical operations and production.
Bachelor's degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university preferred.
Minimum of ten (10) years of experience working in sports/entertainment.
Smart, creative and collaborative visionary whose innovative concepts can connect with consumers, bring the FC Cincinnati brand to life, and help fans feel a one of a kind experience every time they enter the arena.
Must be innovative, imaginative, and have a well-developed sense of storytelling.
Outstanding track record in leadership of people; ability to develop and motivate a team, while maintaining a positive, diverse, creative, and high-performance culture. Readily accepts feedback from others and provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates. Displays enthusiasm, passion and optimism.
Proven ability to build and sustain positive, credible working relationships with staff and internal clients.
Knowledge of the sports, entertainment, and media/broadcast industry; passion for keeping up with and applying pop culture elements to the event entertainment.
Ability to meet deadlines and handle multiple tasks and shifting priorities.
Ability to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner; gather and analyze information skillfully. Must be able to develop solutions quickly and effectively.
Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification. Demonstrates group presentation skills and participates in meetings.
Communicates changes effectively. Builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change and monitors transition.
Experience in managing complex production budgets and schedules.
Must be extremely flexible with non-traditional work schedule.
Position requires attendance at all home matches and, occasionally, selected live events and away matches.