New York City FC maintain a number of official Twitter accounts. There’s the primary New York City Football Club account, and NYCFC Fan Services, which functions as a flack catcher for any gameday or membership issues. There’s NYCFC II, which covers the MLS NEXT Pro side, and NYCFC Youth, which covers academy teams.
Then there’s New York City FC Associate Partnership, which offers sponsorship packages to local mid-sized businesses: If high-rolling partners such as Etihad Airways, Ford, Heineken, adidas, Captian Morgan, and Dude Wipes are up in front reclining in their first-class seats, the associate partners are in premium economy.
The Twitter account dates to November of last year, and started announcing new associate partners in early March. Recently, some corners of the NYCFC nation noticed that a number of those associate partners are in the construction business.
Eyes emoji indeed: NYCFC fans want the club to win games, and sign good players, and lift more silverware, but they want a stadium more than anything else — when they sleep, they dream of a soccer-specific stadium within the Five Boroughs served by public transportation. The NYCFC fan base is uniquely attuned to anything having to do with the Three Cs: Construction, contractors, and concrete.
Hudson River Blue dispatched a team of auditors to comb through the public record, and established that 13 of the 19 associate partners named since November are in the construction industry. They include Casa Redimix Concrete, a concrete supplier, SkyTrac Access Group, a scaffolding supplier, DnA Controlled Inspections, an engineering consultant that works with Tishman Speyer, and Airlogix, which provides commercial HVAC/R services. Another two could play a commercial role in a new stadium.
It’s hard not to read into it. Here is a complete list of associate partners:
NYCFC Associate Partners
|Name||Date Announced||Nature of Work||Related to Construction|
|Casa Redimix Concrete Corp.||May 23, 2022||Concrete supplier||Yes|
|Main St. Radiology||May 20, 2022||Radiology services||No|
|Onrise Care||May 12, 2022||Mental health||No|
|Capalino||April 29, 2022||Urban strategy inclduing permitting, legislative support||Yes|
|Abilne Inc.||April 27, 2022||Install and service boiler room and heating equipment||Yes|
|Nex-Gen Ready Mix Corp.||April 25, 2022||Concrete supplier||Yes|
|SkyTrac Access Group||April 22, 2022||Scaffolding rental, sales, and installation||Yes|
|Airlogix||April 20, 2022||Commercial HVAC/R service||Yes|
|RC Structures||April 13, 2022||Concrete contractor||Yes|
|Michilli Inc.||March 31, 2022||General contractor for luxury spaces||Yes|
|Centrifugal Electric LLC||March 28, 2022||Electrical contractor||Yes|
|Eureka Weath Solutions||March 22, 2022||Wealth management||No|
|DnA Controlled Inspections, Ltd.||March 11, 2022||Engineering consultant||Yes|
|Vitel Global||March 8, 2022||Business phone system provider||No|
|Big Apple Window Cleaning||ND||Commercial window cleaning||No|
|Fischer Energy||ND||Master planning energy management||Yes|
|MJS Building and Development||ND||Home renovations, property management||Yes|
|Palette Pro||ND||Painting services||Yes|
|The Spaventa Group||ND||Wealth management||No|
In other words, just a totally normal, regular group of local companies that love the beautiful game. Let other clubs partner with local restaurants, or car dealerships, or Boar’s Head. NYCFC fans are more likely to seek out the services of Capalino, a consulting firm that helps you navigate New York City’s labyrinthine permitting process and will “identify key elected officials, community leaders, organizations and business contacts” you might want to know if you have a stadium-sized project in the works.
As you can see from the table, the associate partners started signing more than three months ago, but a flurry of NYCFCAP tweets posted last week amplified the earlier announcements. These are the tweets that raised the collective eyebrows of NYCFC supporters.
What does it all mean? It’s hard to say exactly. Could this be a form of lobbying by firms looking to work with NYCFC on a soccer-specific stadium that will likely cost far more than there $345 million Nashville SC spent on GEODIS Park, or the $350 million LAFC spent on Banc of California Stadium? It’s smart to gain entry to the executive boxes at Yankee Stadium (or Citi Field, or Red Bull Arena), and wander the cordoned-off lounges and bars that the proletariat never see. Perhaps these companies have their ears to the ground, and know that now’s the time to buy access.
Or is this a creative form of bartering, that NYCFC is promoting these firms as a part of a compensation package? It’s no small thing when NYCFC sends out a tweet with your name, logo, and account link to more than 400,000 followers. it could very well be that one of them needs a commercial electrical contractor.
Or maybe NYCFCAP simply has a Rolodex filled with construction companies. The associate partnership program was taken over by Eleven Sports Media in November, and they have promoted some unexpected brands in the past, including a sealant and adhesive brand and a law firm to football fans in the United Kingdom. Why not expose New Yorkers to the benefits of the commercial boiler expertise of Abilne Inc.?
The sad truth is that NYCFC fans are so desperate for some news – any news – about a stadium that they will scour Twitter and devour the post you’re reading right now in search of something that will give them hope.
Club president and CEO Brad Sims told HRB last November that building a stadium is the number one priority for the front office, then he all but promised at the City Hall rally in December that an announcement was forthcoming. It’s been crickets since then, which is why we’re reduced to reading between the lines of the tweets posted by the NYCFCAP account.
It might be harmless enough to look into the services provided by associate partner Fischer Energy (which implements complex energy infrastructure for buildings and enables efficient operations, natch), but it’s also a sign of our desperation that we’ll gladly follow any crumbs we find on social media.