The Song of Our Cities
Austin Anthem announces Chapter Number One.
When we launched in 2013, we promised to fight for Major League Soccer in our city. In 2018, we worked with community members from across the state to persuade Austin City Council to broker an agreement to build a stadium at McKalla Place. In January of 2019, MLS announced our city as the home to the 27th franchise for America’s top flight soccer league.
But this team is more than just Austin’s. It’ll be for all those that call McKalla Place home in 2021.
It’ll be home to the same cast of characters that make Austin what it is today — a rarified mix of west Texas cowboy, California tech migrants, and, uh, Willie Nelson.
We pledge to be a supporters group for all of you. No matter your race, your gender, your age, who you love, and no matter where you live, we want you to have a place in the Anthem family. Those that live outside of Austin also want to give back to their communities through soccer and we think we’ve found a great way to help support that.
Today, we’re excited to announce Austin Anthem’s first chapter in New Braunfels, Texas.
New Braunfels, as many central Texans know, is about 45 minutes south of Austin on Interstate 35. The home of Texas’ legendary Wurstfest and Schlitterbahn, we can think of no better city to be chapter number one. We have a great leadership team that’s excited to work with the New Braunfels community in the same way we have here in Austin.
We’ll be throwing a big celebration for this first chapter on May 25th at 1pm (that’s Memorial Day weekend) during the DFB-Pokal Cup Final at Guadalupe Brewing Company in New Braunfels. That’s right, our first event in a city steeped in German culture will be the German league cup final between RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich, live from the German capital. It’s almost too perfect.
Anthem New Braunfels Chapter President Jens Fritsch, after leaving his home country of Germany 12 years ago to come to New Braunfels, Texas, thought he had left behind being a part of such a passionate soccer community. Now, with nearby Austin becoming an MLS city, he is super excited. “We started as a group to watch soccer together, and now we happily can announce ourselves as the first chapter of Austin Anthem.”
“The leadership team of Anthem New Braunfels is honored for this opportunity to support the Austin FC and Austin Anthem while spreading the joy of soccer to our community,” he said. “We are looking forward to community events, fundraisers and service in accordance with the values established by our partners and friends, Austin Anthem. Our city has a rich tradition of community and always helping our neighbors. So with this we say, THANK YOU.”
We believe the chapter model is a great way to allow Austin FC supporters outside a reasonable driving distance from Austin to attend more frequent events, meet fellow fans, and give back to the community which they live in. While Austin will always remain home base for all Los Zanates, we think having certain events closer to home will result in our Anthem family growing stronger.
Chapters will organize certain events and meetups that best serve their community. For example, we expect that chapters will organize watch parties and Anthem Assist giveback events on a regular cadence. Each chapter will have unique leadership that lives in the community they serve.
Those of us living in Austin who serve in leadership will work to support these chapters as best we can. We will provide access to our Anthem platform for easy communication, event management, branding, media resources, and social media channels. We will work with chapters to ensure their voices are heard by Austin FC leadership and well represented in the stands on match days.
Questions? We’ve got some answers below that might answer your questions. Otherwise, please contact our Vice President of Member and Support, Derek Ensign, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some questions you may have
Why do you need chapters? Shouldn’t folks out of town be able to create their own supporters groups?
We want to build a supporters group for every Austin FC supporter. While other factions of the soccer world want to create small, niche groups, we believe that we are better able to support the club when we all pull together. Leveraging our existing investments in social, political, and humanitarian efforts in Austin thus far, we hope Anthem can provide valuable resources and a head start to smaller groups looking to support the club.
A chapter sounds cool. What are the requirements for starting my own?
There are a couple of requirements to become an Austin Anthem chapter. First and foremost, you’ll need people. How many? That will be determined on a case-by-case basis, since we want chapters to be able to host successful events and meetups. You’ll need a publicly accessible venue that you can call home base — ideally a place that shows soccer matches on TV. And, finally, you’ll need to identify three leaders, including a chapter president and vice president. Those who wish to form the chapter need to agree to a slightly more technical set of rules and code of conduct (largely pertaining to branding and bylaws), but that’s basically it.
What are the limits of chapters?
Chapters operate semi-autonomously within Anthem, with Austin Anthem providing collaboration, resources, and guidance on items affecting all chapters. We’d expect these to be mostly legal, so that local chapters don’t enter into sponsorship agreements with competitors of other chapter sponsors.
There is no maximum distance from Austin. We look forward to having chapters all across the globe.
For now, we’re only considering chapters outside the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. We might re-evaluate that at some point, but for now, we believe that the mothership is best able to serve those cities at this time.
What about other questions not listed here?
Our chapter model is in its infancy, and we’d love your feedback on what we can to to create a successful chapter network throughout Texas, and across the globe. Please get a hold of us via email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or grackle mail and let us know your thoughts.
Austin Anthem is the independent supporters group for Austin FC, the Major League Soccer club of Austin, Texas.
For more information, visit us online at AustinAnthem.org