Neck tie: FC Cincinnati, Reds work together for scarf-ticket combo

Teams use overlapping dates to reach fans of both

CINCINNATI -- Last year the Cincinnati Reds and FC Cincinnati teamed up for two different ticket combo offers.

That partnership is back, and this time it includes a scarf.

Billed as a chance to show “Cincinnati pride,” the limited edition scarf is being offered by FCC and the Reds with the purchase of a Reds ticket package during the April 14-16 weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park. The deal includes a 2017 FCC ticket voucher.

The scarf itself is unique. Based in black with “Cincinnati” in white across the middle, it features the franchise logos on opposite ends. One side boasts FC Cincinnati in blue and orange while the Reds occupy the other side in red and white.

In some towns, professional teams might consider each other competition for entertainment dollars. That’s not the case with the Reds and FCC, which share some common philosophies and marketing targets and have found ways to leverage each other’s popularity.

Ralph Mitchell, the Reds’ vice president of communications and marketing, said partnering with FCC again this year seemed like a natural step forward. The theme package was a logical vehicle.

“We benchmarked other MLB clubs who partnered with their regional soccer teams, and based on discussions with our partners at FCC, agreed the scarf was the best option to help drive the package,” Mitchell said. “We always strive to have our theme package items appeal specifically to a unique audience, and knowing the popularity of the scarf with that (demographic), it was the overwhelming choice.”

The partnership goes beyond the package itself and into the April 14 game at Great American Ball Park, where FCC players -- wearing scarves, of course -- will participate in pregame festivities and a meet-and-greet with a limited number of fans through a VIP experience.

Then, the next evening, FC Cincinnati opens its home slate at 7 p.m. against Saint Louis FC at Nippert Stadium.

With eight overlapping home dates throughout the shared seasons, both entities hope to appeal to young and passionate sports fans.

“The Reds do an incredible job connecting with the community and that is something that is also extremely important to us at FC Cincinnati,” said Kate Solomon, FCC’s senior director of marketing and community engagement. “We are proud to work with organizations like the Reds who have been and continue to be major community leaders.”

Both franchises believe Cincinnati can support all its professional teams. Solomon pointed to the fact that the Lindner family -- which owns FCC -- still has an ownership stake in the Reds, and FCC president and general manager Jeff Berding is a longtime Reds season ticket holder.

“We know many of our fans are also Reds and Bengals fans," Solomon said. "We also know there are FCC fans who only are interested in soccer. When we launched the franchise, our goal was to provide professional role models for our youth soccer community and to give the Queen City another professional franchise it could be proud of."

Mitchell said the Reds/FCC theme package sales have reached about 50 percent of the goal. Based on the interest thus far and previous successful ventures, both franchises are eager to extend their relationship in the future.

“We’re excited to see where this partnership will take us with the potential of growth year after year,” Mitchell said.

A Reds’ Terrace Line package with an FCC reserved ticket is $45 and a Reds’ View Level package with FCC general admission is $20.

Click here to purchase the Reds/FCC/scarf package.

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