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Why there needs to be a FC Dallas Lifestyle

The front office wants you to be part of the "FC Dallas Family." But Phil thinks fans would be most engaged if they embraced the "FC Dallas Lifestyle."

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The new 2016 Season Ticket website claims that, "We don't see you as just a season ticket holder, but an FC Dallas Family Member." I love the idea of treating season ticket holders and supporters groups like family. STHs and SGs are the club's most valuable assets. We are the ones that come to every game. We buy jerseys every year, scarves every month, and concessions every game. We bring family, friends, and coworkers. If you want to grow the club via word of mouth, then this is the group to do the legwork.

But is this how we are treated in reality? Do you charge your family to park? There is a disconnect between the words and actions of the Front Office. The club exists for and is made up of the fans. But lately, it has not seemed that way. FC Dallas must get back to being simply a club for the fans.

Instead of the "FC Dallas Family," the marketing plan should focus on the "FC Dallas Lifestyle." The goal is to make FC Dallas fandom a lifestyle! The club should strive to have as many interactions with fans as possible. Being an FC Dallas fan becomes an integral part of the fan's life.

The most important thing FC Dallas can do to become more integrated into the daily lives of its fans is to get on their smartphones by creating the FC Dallas App! It would track season ticket holder rewards points so fans can see the balance of points in their accounts and compete against each other to become the biggest FC Dallas fan. It would be equipped with the ability to be scanned before in-stadium purchases to enable the STH discount and to track purchases that add points to the account.

The app would have information about the upcoming game, including news about the team, a preview of the opponent, the weather forecast, and parking information. During the game, there would be live stats, replays, and the man of the match poll. The radio broadcast would be streamed in English and Spanish. The FC Dallas Twitter and Instagram accounts would be integrated into the app to provide a running news feed. Notifications from the app would alert the fan to updates about the team and players. The FC Dallas app would be a daily source of interaction and information between the club and the fan.

The app would also include a weekly podcast. I listen to SiriusXM FC and podcasts like "The Kickaround" and "The 19th Minute" when I'm in the car. But I'd really like a weekly 30-minute podcast that keeps me updated on the status of the team. Historically, the team has been very opaque about the injuries and statuses of its players. The podcast could interview players and coaches to give us a glimpse inside the club and how it is preparing for the next game. Judging from the quality work on FCD Live, I am confident that the FC Dallas social media team would release an excellent podcast.

It's obvious that there should be an FC Dallas debit card and license plate. Chase is a sponsor of the club and Chase customers see advertisements for FC Dallas games at Chase ATMs. MLS clubs like DC United offer themed debit cards to their fans. It would not be too much to ask for Chase to offer an FC Dallas debit card that offers rewards on season tickets, merchandise, and concession purchases. Our in-state rival Houston Dynamo already has a license plate. Why don't we? I'd like to have an FC Dallas license plate that says "Golazo!" For now, I'll have to settle for a magnet.

Each of these initiatives increases the number of interactions between the club and the fan. They do not require the fan to visit FC Dallas' website or enter Toyota Stadium to be reminded of their favorite sports team. In this way, the FC Dallas lifestyle becomes an inseparable part of each fan's life.