The New Face of Cincinnati Sports

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m a soccer fan. Not a “let’s wake up at 3 a.m. to watch the matches from across the pond” soccer fan, but more of a “how cool is THIS sport” kind of fan. I still don’t understand the sport – I have no idea what off sides means and frankly, I don’t care to find out – but I have to say, it’s pretty freaking exciting to watch live.

My first exposure to soccer was my daughter playing on a three-year-old team at the YMCA. I have a feeling that wasn’t the best introduction, because I basically had to jog next to her on the pitch while she cried about not wanting to be on the team and I cried about not wanting to jog in front of the other parents.

But all that changed this year. Legion signed up to be the college section sponsor for our new professional soccer team, FC Cincinnati. I jumped at the chance because I know that gaining name recognition among college students is really important for us from a recruiting perspective, and I have always loved the idea of helping startups, whether they are in business or sports. But it was a big risk for us – we’ve never taken on a sponsorship at this level and we were making a significant investment of time and money based on a feeling that this could be big.

I’m happy to say that we were right – this is big. Bigger than anyone expected. FC Cincinnati has taken the city by storm, and gained national attention just four matches into the season. I didn’t know what to expect at the first match, but the energy and electricity in Nippert Stadium was palpable, and it only got better at the second match. I was blown away by the fans, the excitement, and how easy it was for me to engage in the game and get excited when we won, and feel crushed when we lost. I’m sad that I won’t be at the match this Saturday, but I know I’m going to attend as many as I can, and I recommend you do, too. This is the sort of sporting moment people talk about decades later – the chance to be present at the beginning of something that changes the face of a city.

by Lacy Starling, President & Fearless Leader