Starting an FC St. Pauli supporters club is not a daunting venture. We’ve seen most of our clubs established in a relatively short period of time, the common element being an intense desire to share the football and and ethos of FC St. Pauli with others in North America. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Using these tips to help establish a club in your area will help put your club on the FCSP International map.
Connect with NordAmerikurve
If you’re thinking of starting a supporters club in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help with anything. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply for official supporters club status
The process to obtain official status is outlined here. The process is a little arduous but NordAmerikurve will do everything we can to help.
Set up social media accounts
FCSP communities, especially the international clubs, are very active on social media and are a great resource for information on a multitude of things. Plus, having a social media presence helps when you’re pitching to venues to host your viewings, adding an element of legitimacy to your fledgling club. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts are a great way to introduce yourself to the FCSP community.
When choosing a username try to use something easy to remember, spell and make it common to all platforms and your website URL ie FCStPauliToledo
Set up a website
Most FCSP supporters clubs maintain a website, if only to have a portal to feed social media posts, show the match viewings schedule, and highlight interesting stories. WordPress is a common platform and has built in plugins for calendars, photo albums, social media etc. Having someone in you club who is comfortable with WordPress etc is a plus, but if not spend the time to learn the platform. It’s worth it.
Establish an identity
Designing a logo and other art that reflects your club and city is a great way to engage potential members, attract attention and feedback, and give your club a real identity. But be mindful of FCSP brand guidelines.
Find a venue
This can be the hardest part of establishing a club. Not every bar is aware of FC St. Pauli and the kind of traffic your club might bring. For chains it may be a numbers game and they might not be strong partners in promoting your games. But smaller, independent bars with hands-on owners are usually quite open to new partnerships, so hit them up first. Introduce them to the FCSP brand of football and ethos and it’ll be hard for them to say no. If they don’t identify with the FCSP culture, then it’s probably best you don’t show matches there.
Sign up to FCSP TV
The NordAmerika preferred way of showing matches is delayed via FCSP TV. For a reasonable cost and with a simple computer/TV setup at your venue, this is the easiest way to show matches. The Hamburg/NordAmerika time difference makes 7:30 a.m. live match viewings inconvenient here, and finding a reliable feed is a challenge. So turn off your spoiler social media feeds for the day, and show the matches. NYC, Buffalo and Toronto follow a 6PM weekend and 7PM weekday schedule, but figure out the best time to show your matches for your members and venue.
Promote, promote, promote
You’ve set up your social media channels and you have your schedule. Promote the shit out of your match viewings. Tweet, post, share as much as you can to get the word out. Put up posters in your venue. Use Facebook Events. Get business cards made with all your contact info including social media addresses.
Post match viewing, post pics, videos from the match.
Attend events armed with your business cards. If you’re carrying an FCSP rainbow tottenkopf when you’re marching in your local gay pride parade, IWD or May Day march, you’ll always get inquiries from like-minded people who are interested in you club. Be ready.