When someone comes into the Austin FC fold, be it a fan, player, or employee, there’s something they have in common — they become Verde. This term has quickly grown to designate someone as part of Austin FC. That term will be even more visible to Austinites and Central Texans as the countdown to first kick continues.
The Club is launching a new multimedia campaign today: Verde Listos, which will bring the concept of being Verde into sharper focus as Austin FC continues to build its culture.
“We are in the early, important days of building this Club,” noted James Ruth, the Club’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. "We want to get to the heart of the culture we’re building, and articulate what it means to be Verde.”
“Obviously, that culture is going to be determined by what happens in the stands, the relationship between the Club and our supporters, all the fans,” he said. “But we have the opportunity to begin seeding that culture now, particularly with a brand campaign that will speak to a larger Austin audience. We want everyone to know the Austin FC culture is 100% driven by Austin, by the people who make this city special and creative, iconic and original.”
Ruth worked with Club owner and Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey and the Austin FC creative team to conceive and create the campaign. It will feature legendary Austinites from all walks of life, photographed in environments where they flourish, each declaring them as Verde.
For example, Austin musician Shakey Graves is captured in the Continental Club to show Shakey is Verde, 17-year-old Valentina’s pitmaster Eliana Gutierrez is photographed in a classic Texas barbeque pit room to declare Eliana is Verde, and muralist Chris Rogers, proudly standing in front of one of his distinctive East Austin works of art, lets the world know that he too is Verde. As the campaign develops and builds toward the team’s spring debut, other Austin legends like embroiderer Kathie Sever, neon artist Evan Voyles, and sushi chef Yoshi Okai will be featured as Verde.
Using an album analogy, he added, “There are a lot of ‘deep cuts’ that make Austin what it is. It’s more than just breakfast tacos, cowboy boots and queso, even though we love all those things."
There’s also a parallel track campaign that launched last week: The “Drumbeat Grows” video short, which features supporters banging large drums inside the Club’s still-being-built home stadium, along with a depiction of what “Verde” and “Listos” (“ready” or “let’s go”) might sound like as a chant inside a full stadium on match day.
The campaign showcasing Austin legends isn’t as much a call to action as it is a call to building an evolving identity for a first generation of fans. Noting that Austin is a “town that’s built on creativity,” it was important to create a distinctive campaign that goes where a team in a more traditional sports town would not.
“This is about creating a foundation for the Club that's going to last for years to come,” he asserted. “Our connection with the city is what's most important right now. Austin and Central Texas are a magnet for creatives and people that want to think differently. If we're going to be the Club of Austin and the Central Texas region, then we've got to be aligned with the people that make this city and this whole region special.”