St. Louis CITY SC Is Making Key Hires, Progress On Downtown West Stadium
The region’s new Major League Soccer team announced this week it hired a chief experience officer — Matt Sebek.
The role is common for many consumer-facing brands, but it’s a first for MLS.
Sebek joins St. Louis CITY SC’s roster from World Wide Technology, where he focused on building relationships between the company and customers. Now, he hopes to bridge the gap between the new soccer club and potential fans.
Sebek said his job is to help make the team “bigger than soccer.” He plans to build a platform for the soccer club to engage with potential fans and sponsors during the long lead-up to game play, in 2023.
“From Day One, let’s organize ourselves to be more of a digital-first e-comm company that happens to play soccer, as opposed to every other sports club, which has tried to do the opposite — which is let’s focus on sports first, and then figure out all the other e-comm and personal relationship stuff later,” he said.
Sebek started in his role on Oct. 1 and has already helped the soccer team hit records with season ticket deposits. Last month, St. Louis CITY SC received 30,000 season ticket deposits within the first 15 minutes and 50,000 in 24 hours.
Sebek is also working on ways to engage with fans on the progress of a 22,500-seat stadium under construction in Downtown West. It’s expected to be complete by mid-2022.
“No one really knows what’s going on in downtown St. Louis, but it is pretty monumental. There’s a big hole in the ground right now, but it’s starting to take shape,” he said, adding that the stadium’s four major walls are starting to go up.
He said fans should expect more announcements this fall.
In a statement, CEO Carolyn Kindle Betz said this is an “important moment for our team.”
“Since Day One, we have strived to make each person in our region feel connected to the team. Matt's hiring as MLS’ first-ever CXO puts us in such a great position to show our fans’ spirit and passion, and our true commitment to them,” she said.
Sebek’s appointment is the latest in a list of important hires since St. Louis CITY SC announced its name, logo and colors in August.
The club named Lutz Pfannenstiel as sporting director and Edmound Elzy as vice president of ticket sales. Mike Forde and Bernhard Peters are also serving as consultants to help establish a youth academy, among other things.