Como 1907

Helping a European Soccer Club Build a Fanbase in America

Savvy European soccer clubs are looking beyond their city limits or even their country's borders to grow their fanbase and their revenue. Many of these clubs have set their sights on the American market, where the sport is growing by leaps and bounds, and where the typical American fan supports multiple clubs from around the world.

Enter Como 1907. This small Italian club with its stadium situated on picturesque Lake Como has set its sights on one day becoming a global soccer brand. In just four short years, the club has climbed from the fourth division to Seria A, Italy's top domestic league. In that time, it has assembled a powerful ownership group that includes soccer legends Cesc Fabregas (who played for the club and currently serves as a coach) and Thierry Henry, and attracted players from all over the globe. While Stone Ward has supported Como with a wide range of branding and marketing projects, the most impactful contribution may be pitching them on the idea of coming to the inaugural TST tournament and using it as a way to introduce the American soccer community to Como 1907.

Como 1907 logo

A Festival of Soccer

Stone Ward partnered with Como 1907 to create an unforgettable brand activation experience at TST in Cary, North Carolina. TST is a one-of-a-kind 7-on-7 soccer tournament with a “winner-take-all” $1 Million prize and a festival-like atmosphere that some call “Soccer Coachella”. In 2023, TST included teams from noteworthy international clubs West Ham, Wolves, Dortmund, and Wrexham, as well as a host of U.S.-based clubs. Como 1907 was the only Italian club to enter TST and the first club to sign up to create a brand activation on-site.

A Brand Activation That “Creates and Retains True Fans”

Como's goals for coming to TST included metrics related to growth of its U.S. database, social follows, and merchandise sales. However, they knew that most important was creating a brand experience that was both authentic to Como and meaningful to the U.S. audience. Como wanted fans to get a taste of the unique warmth and community spirit that exists in Como by creating a gathering place, or a piazza, to welcome fans and the teams, and to spread joy. The Piazza Como activation featured an authentic, custom-designed Como-branded Aperol Spritz bar, a mini Como 1907 museum, a Como 1907 locker room photo opp, and a youth soccer clinic. In the words of one fan, "Como really displayed what it looks like to lean into the opportunity this tournament presents. They've increased their fanbase in this region exponentially in the last few days."

In addition to the piazza, Como 1907 brought the heart of their club, their own fans. To bring the magic of Stadio Comunale G. Sinigaglia to the U.S. Como invited 20 of its most fervent fans, or tifosi, to cheer on the squad and teach the chants and songs to the new U.S. fanbase. As one attendee put it, “No matter the huge teams at TST, the team that’s taken all the neutrals’ hearts has been Como 1907, it's not even close.” The piazza, coupled with the heart and soul of the tifosi, gave fans at TST an authentic and long lasting impression of the club.

During the tournament, Como made a run to the quarterfinals with Cesc Fabregas as the team’s manager and a roster that included two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. University of North Carolina’s Men’s Basketball Head Coach Hubert Davis and U.S. Women’s soccer legend Heather O’Reilly were so taken by the energy that Como brought to the tournament, that they spent time with the players and fans at the brand activation and joined the flag-waving and all-game-singing Como fan section during the games.

Como grew its awareness, database of U.S. fans, and social media following by leaps and bounds, surpassing all expectations. Even Como’s merchandise outsold all other teams at the tournament. Beyond the KPIs, the overall impact of the experience might be described best by a fan that came to TST to support Wrexham and walked away putting a Como sticker on his car sharing a reflection on the entire experience, “Creating an atmosphere of joy will create and retain true fans. I know because last week when my dad and I encountered the Como 1907 Piazza at TST in Cary, NC, that is exactly what the team at Stone Ward had done.”

We provide these services for Como 1907 on an ongoing basis:

  • Strategy
  • Creative
  • Activation