So you’ve heard about the sport of soccer growing at a rapid pace? Fans have been following the sport here in the states and abroad for years are noticing the trend and rallying behind efforts that are committed to the growth of the game. Well get ready San Diego, there’s a new team in town and we think you’ll like what they are about. North County Battalion better known as a NC Battalion is the newest club to hit the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Last month, NC Battalion held their official launch party just north of San Diego. With the growth of soccer taking off across the nation, players and supporters are becoming receptive to clubs that are in it for the love of the game. Battalion’s owner Jason Barbato explained he started the club “because he is a passionate fan of the game” and wanted a club to support locally. The club’s focus is different from other teams across the league and wants to create an environment where the focus is on the supporters’ participation and experience from the top down. “When you focus on the commitment to the game, you lift up the product that is placed on the field simultaneously,” he said.
With San Diego being the home market for the Battalion, most local soccer enthusiasts have seen their fair share of clubs that have fizzled and fail to deliver on promises. NC Battalion wants to change that mentality and focus on engaging the fans that follow the club closely. One of the ways that Battalion staff hope to reach and grow their audience is through genuine interaction with the fans via social media. Starting with supporter gatherings, Jason hopes to have a platform for fans to meet with the owner, coaches, front office staff, etc on a regular basis. Soccer is often referred to as the most popular sport in many corners of the world due to the sheer volume of fans worldwide. Clubs are capitalizing on the global aspect of the sport and emphasizing fan engagement via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. By using social media as an arm of their organization and engaging people with relatable content within the larger soccer community, they hope to build a solid foundation of the club from the early stages and beyond. This type of access to the club will allow fans to feel like it’s theirs and not just a money grab in the soccer world. Barbato summed it up perfectly,“This is not my team, it’s North County’s. I may have started this club but I will not build it alone.”
As the Battalion staff continues to plan events in the San Diego community, they are looking forward to putting a solid club together. Tryouts began in the first week of November with the next tryout on December 6th and their first game will be in April of 2016. In summary, NC Battalion knows that none of their plans for growth will come to fruition without the support of the community. The passion, trust and time given by the community is what will allow the club to grow. NC Battalion gets that and we wish them all the success in the near future!