What Atlanta United is Getting Right
Since March, I’ve officially been a very proud Atlanta United FC fan. In April 2014, when the Eastern conference of Major League Soccer announced Atlanta was getting a team, I knew it was going to be a great asset to Atlanta. I blindly bought the affordable season tickets in December 2016 without ever having sat through an entire soccer game or ever having attended an MLS game. The experience has not disappointed.
In addition to the fandom and explosive game days, Atlanta United communications strategies are one of the reasons I’m such a big fan. PR firms and communication professionals should take note of how the team treats its shareholders, how Atlanta United listens to its audience, its social media platforms and its community engagement.
The Team is Treating its Shareholders Well
All of the games were originally slated to take place at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. However, the stadium’s construction delays have thrown a wrench into plans and all games thus far have been held at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. Whenever new stadium setbacks are released, Atlanta United immediately sends a detailed eNewsletter to shareholders (a nice term for season ticketholders) discussing the problem and the solution. Through the newsletters, Atlanta United has done a great job managing fans’ expectations. They also financially compensate season ticketholders for each game delay, and have created the best possible fan experience at Bobby Dodd.
Atlanta United is Listening to its Audience
Of course, the first home game had its hiccups, though overall the game was widely considered a massive success. Fans were displeased with the wait to get inside the venue and the 45-minute-long beer lines once inside. Atlanta United promptly responded on social media and through eNewsletters that they were adding additional security check points and beer vendors. They have delivered on these promises. Game experiences are operated smoothly now.
Atlanta United has Finessed a Great Social Persona
Atlanta United’s social media team likely deserves a raise. Their accounts maintain positive messaging, showcase amazing photos, highlight fans and keep everyone up-to-date on happenings. Even after losses, the Instagram and Facebook accounts thank fans for their ongoing support, showcase the electric atmosphere at the game, highlight Atlanta United’s powerful plays and begin getting fans hyped for the next match up.
The Team Prioritizes Community Engagement
Much of the time, people need to be convinced of a new entity’s success before it becomes a revered institution. Atlanta United staff, employees and even players have been at nearly every major Atlanta event in the past year. From Inman Park festival to pop-up events at Atlantic Station to Downtown rallies, the team has prioritized educating the city on its team and garnering excitement for the season.