“Soccer is a millennial group,” he says.
Steve Livingstone’s facial expression ranges from jolly and intense to inquisitive and serious during the Jacksonville Armada Football Club’s weekly front office staff meeting.
Livingstone, the president of Jacksonville’s newest professional sports franchise, said he’s experienced a range of emotions to get the team and business off the ground. But it’s working in his view.
“Success is what I consider my motivation,” Livingstone said from his office that looks north over Jacksonville from the 31st floor of the Wells Fargo building downtown.
“It’s a pretty ballsy thing to do [starting a sports franchise]. I want to make it a success,” said Livingstone, 46.
The basics which now seems so simple compared to a year ago when the announcement of the North American Soccer League addition was made of assembling two dozen players and coaches are accomplished.
The ownership is in place and is reflective of youthful startup philosophy in Mark Frisch, the executive vice president of Beaver Street Fisheries of Jacksonville.
But Livingstone said refining the staff that now includes 39 employees has been the nuanced part of the job that he cherishes. “I’ve pretty much handpicked everyone here,” he said. “I’m pretty lucky to have this staff.”
Livingstone’s tone is almost fatherly, protective and admiring when he speaks of his employees. cheap jerseys That same tone comes across during the weekly staff meetings held Tuesdays in a small conference room in the Armada offices that take up about 5,000 square feet in the Wells Fargo building.
With so many staff members now and so little conference room space, many employees sit on the floor along the room’s edges.
Livingstone needs that fatherly approach. Nearly every staff member crammed into the conference room is a millennial someone generally considered to be in their 20s or early 30s. Most are barely out of college. Only a couple are past 40. All are energetic and enthusiastic about working for what even Livingstone calls a startup.
The youthful vigor that sprouts from the staff meeting ranging from details on the latest promotional stunt involving miniature cars on the field to coupon tie ins for sponsors is a direct link to one of the most sought after demographic audience targets by the Armada. That target is craft beer drinking, ultra hip millennials who grew up with a soccer culture in America more than any previous generation.
Armada Marketing Director Matt Verrecchia, at 29 years old, is one of the franchise’s most senior staff members. He was the third employee hired in late 2013 for the team after a stint as an account executive at the Dalton Agency advertising and public relations firm.