The 18 months that have brought me to this point with FC Pinzgau and Fan Owned Club have been a rollercoaster ride, as you might imagine, yet with significantly more peaks than valleys, an awesome, inspiring adventure across two continents.
As you will discover through the litany of article links, podcast episodes, blog posts, media articles, my 25+ years of experience in sports media and marketing has taken me all over the world with Major League Soccer, the NBA and the "original" XFL. I've been involved with five team "startups" out of thin air, and tangentially-related to several others through my League Office posts, now incredibly excited to attack the "blank slate" of Fan Owned Club and our first team property, FC Pinzgau.
Sports-business entrepreneurs like Dave Checketts, Don Garber, Garth Lagerwey and others still inspire me daily with the lessons I've learned working with them. Coaches like Jason Kreis, Bernie Bickerstaff, Robin Fraser and others taught me to understand delicate locker-room issues. Leaders like Bill Manning, Brian Dunseth, Dan Courtemanche & Ryan Hatch showed me how passion, intelligence and humanity create an unquantifiable nexus in sports business.
In the Fall of 2018, contemplating options after nearly 15 years with Real Salt Lake (MLS), I was connected to Mark Ciociola, the crazy dreamer, the guy with the audacious vision for what could be possible if a bunch of us banded together.
Then came a full day in Nashville with Steve Paris, the financial brains of the operation, tapping into his decades of corporate experience, start-ups and a love of sports entities.
Via Skype and not long thereafter, I met the founding trio for FC Pinzgau. Herbert Bründlinger was the first, in Hamburg, joining Mark and I on pitching our plan and vision to Hummel Germany. Then came two Saalfelden natives: Dr. Siegi Kainz, the analytical legal practitioner, the man bringing gravitas and focus all proceedings, and Christian Herzog, a banker by day, the unofficial “Mayor” of Saalfelden and Pinzgau, in many ways the heart and soul of the Club.
The day after we all attended the 2019 ÖFB Cup on the national 1 May holiday - witnessing the precise style of Red Bull Salzburg on the pitch and the incredible fan atmosphere that the Rapid Wien supporters brought before, during and after the spectacle at the stunning Klagenfurt venue - our one-hour lunch with Christian Ziege turned into three, and Ziege's simple text the following morning after listening to our vision - "I'm in!" - convinced me I was ready to move to Saalfelden, six months earlier than my initial ideation.
The common thread throughout these interactions, this process, as we prepare to build a global culture for FC Pinzgau and demonstrate the power of Fan Owned Club, is the belief that through teamwork, and cooperation, sublimating ego and individuality and focusing on the greater ambition, that it is through GROUP success that anyone would achieve personal glory.
For Fan Owners, Players, Coaches, Executives, Staff, etc., we all know that our ego drives certain things; but by placing that energy into the family we are building, in Saalfelden, online, for those emotionally and financially invested in the Club, chasing the ambitions on the field - i.e., UEFA competition, promotion, hardware, etc. - and off the pitch - i.e., asset growth, community, pride, etc. - our collective passion should come together as we experience exponential growth, new opportunities and the truest sense of family as we support this FOC / FCPS credo:
“Plant the Roots. Grow the Game. Shoot for the Crown.”
Thanks for taking the time to read, listen, search, discover. For all involved in this Fan Owned Club endeavor - Marcus Haslam, David Herman, Jake Simons, Tamara Castellano, Jan Laut, Craig Waibel, Robert Castellano, Gerry Stross, Peter Hans - just to name a few - we hope you join in and help us accelerate and dictate our future.
Please contact me at any time,
Founder - Fan Owned Club / FC Pinzgau
+1 801 856 8877 (mobile)
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