Social Media Roundup: A Membership Group’s World Cup Rise

How an organization for soccer fans has helped ratchet up attention for the sport in the United States. Also: Does your conference have enough "white space" for the introverts in your audience?

It’s one of the world’s biggest sporting events, but soccer’s World Cup had never been a big draw in the United States.

One group has worked hard to get Americans interested in the internationally popular sport—and has seen its own membership blossom in the process. Read its story in today’s Social Media Roundup:

Wild for Fútbol

There’s a ton of excitement around the U.S. over this year’s World Cup tournament in Brazil. American Outlaws, a fast-growing membership group, could be part of the reason for that. The nonprofit, which brings together U.S. soccer fans nationwide, has come a long way since its 2006 launch and now has more than 18,000 members and 140 local chapters.

“It’s all kind of exploded,” cofounder Justin Brunken told ESPN last week, noting that members are holding watch parties nationwide. “It’s kind of crazy how big it’s gotten. When we started we realized a lot of people were looking for something like this. They were trying to organize with friends and find a bar to watch at, but one time the local bar would have the sound on and the next time they’d say, ‘Well, the football game takes priority.'”

Writing about the phenomenon, SCD Group’s Steve Drake says that a key reason for the group’s success is that it knows exactly what it’s offering to its membership.

“The organization features a clear, crisp mission: Be a part of the American Outlaws soccer community and help unite and strengthen U.S. soccer fans across the nation,” he writes.

Read Drake’s post to learn where you might be able to bring some translatable lessons to your own association. (ht @SBSDirectVote)

The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend… Conferences are known for a lot of things, and pretty high on that list is a little something called sensory overload.

Are you giving your attendees a chance to take all that great stuff they’ve learned at your sessions and let it sink in? It might be a good idea to make some room for that, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting’s Jeff Hurt says.

“Without offering our attendees opportunities for adult white space—more time for thinking, reflection, and contemplation—we overwhelm our attendees with too much,” he writes in his latest blog post. “We create experiences that feel like jars of river water all shaken and stirred by the conference’s events. We need to give our attendees time to sit still long enough to allow the conference sediment to settle. So that their perspectives can become clearer.”

This point, he says, is important to remember for the sake of the introverts in your audience, who may not be the Type A personality that conferences generally cater to. (ht @VelChain)

American Outlaws members celebrate after the U.S. beat Ghana at the World Cup last week. (via the group's Facebook page)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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