FEATURE: Rose City Futsal - The Power of Futsal-specific Facilities to Fuel Futsal Culture
Washington, DC - March 28,2019 | Rose City Futsal
I present to you, Rose City Futsal.
We had the chance to catch up with Rose City Futsal Managing Director, Kevin Murray, and Rose City Futsal Director of Marketing, Joe Lesher, to discuss all things Rose City Futsal (RCF) and the thriving Futsal culture up in Portland, Oregon.
Behind the Scenes at Rose City Futsal
One of the most respected Futsal clubs in the United States, Rose City Futsal is home to not only one top quality Futsal-specific facility --- but two. And these facilities are unlike many Futsal courts & gymnasiums players have trained at and families have frequented across the states.
Rose City Futsal East, also known as “Portland” opened in 2013 by a group of 10 passionate Futsal families looking for a safe place for their kids to play. The facility and club have evolved over time but all the success and growth stemmed from the core realization...more court space was needed to serve the Futsal community. Across town in 2017, the founders opened Rose City Futsal West, also known as “Tigard”.
“When youth players, parents and adult players walk in, it’s a little different vibe than most sports complexes. Both facilities have 3 state of the art Futsal courts. And beyond the courts, we’ve built in an apparel store, physical therapy offices, partner club workspaces, and Clive’s Public House - an onsite pub,” detailed Kevin Murray, Managing Director of Rose City Futsal.
The Futsal-specific facilities simply fuel a more robust, connected Futsal culture across the the club. Players participating in any program with Rose City Futsal or renting the space know the feeling of training or games at RCF Portland or RCF Tigard with a Futsal mindset. When they walk into the building, the club and facility is building something bigger than simply a team, league or program --- it’s a Futsal family and culture of providing access, growth and energy to the sport in Portland.
“The primary goal at RCF is to grow the sport of Futsal. We want people to know us not only as a youth-centric facility, but a place to grow ‘The Heart of the Game’ with everyone! We’re a community-focused facility with robust Youth and Adult Academies plus Youth and Adult Leagues, and we dedicate our services to growing both our RCF family and this beautiful game,” says Kody Ganiko, RCF West Program Director.
Rose City Futsal’s Benefits of Owning & Operating A Futsal-Specific Facility
As we dig deeper into the behind the scenes of Rose City Futsal, building and managing a Futsal-specific facility comes with many benefits that the RCF team pride themselves on. We took a moment to break down some of these core benefits:
--- Access. RCF controls the facility schedules and therefore, can work toward providing access to court time for all programs across seasons. Further, the club also has priority access to prime Futsal hour rental times that would normally be very difficult to secure if renting facilities.
--- Programming & Pathway. With access to your own facilities, you can have a greater emphasis on your programming and strategic plan for your organization. Your business model must map toward keeping the facilities busy but with that in mind, robust programming and the ability to meet all audience's year-round needs becomes more feasible. RCF hosts a full spectrum of programming including Soccer Stars (18 mo to 6 y/o), Youth Academy (6 to 14), Adult Academy, events and, camps.
--- Unique Events & Community Impact. Building on the ability to provide multi-faceted programming, organizations that also own Futsal-specific facilities have the freedom to host unique and creative events beyond the program offering, and really make a physical impact on the community. RCF has thrived in this regard hosting quality events to serve their Futsal family. A few to note include:
The Rise of Futsal: A panel discussion with MLS MVP Diego Valeri, former Brazilian professional Diogo Siston, Barcelona Futsal coach Xavi Closas and RCF’s own Eduardo Araujo to discuss all things Futsal.
Futsal coaching and leadership clinic with Futsal World Cup Champion coach Diego Guistozzi and olympic coach Cony Konstin.
Panna Palooza: RCF’s epic 1v1 “Panna” tournament held each summer at both RCF locations.
Movies on the Court events hosted by RCF and our local Parks & Recreation Program.
Numerous local and regional tournaments throughout the year.
--- Storage & Office Space. Programming logistics and business office solutions become more simple with ample staff offices onsite at RCF facilities along with storage for all miscellaneous equipment needs.
--- Investment to Improve. Flexibility to expand, adjust or change facilities to meet the needs of programming. A few examples here that RCF has aimed to prioritize:
Clive’s Public House has been an integral component of the RCF experience from the beginning. Conceived to be a family-friendly atmosphere for parents to watch their player's Futsal training and for Adult League players to gather after games to relive the action and socialize with their community. RCF has continued to invest in the Clive’s experience with menu and facility improvements.
RCF has the flexibility to update their Futsal courts as needed - during the summer 2019 months, the two turf fields will be replaced with new vinyl quality courts; making all six courts fast and smooth.
RCF has just installed two high-tech Pixellot camera systems, one at each location, with plans to expand coverage to all 6 courts. The new system aims to share RCF games, training and events with local adult and youth players and families, the broader Portland community, and world viewers.
--- Partnership Opportunities. As an active member in the Futsal and sports scene across Portland, RCF often receives requests from and reaches out to like-minded groups in ways they can strategically partner to benefit the community both at the facilities and externally. A few recent examples of RCF partners include:
Tursi’s Soccer - a specialty Futsal & Soccer store housed inside both RCF locations to outfit and gear up players and families.
GC Strength, Apex, 503 Athlete, THUSC and United PDX - to provide specialty sports performance training to players and families, and local sports organizations office space.
Positive Coaching Alliance and Street Soccer PDX - on an initiative which helps homeless kids find opportunities to play Futsal and soccer.
Local Clubs - teaming up with local communities to build free access futsal courts in the Portland area.
Local Breweries & Wineries - partnering to launch unique wine or small batch brews to the RCF community at Clive’s Public House.
Senda Athletics - official Futsal ball partner of Rose City Futsal. Exclusive RCF & Senda video with Diego Guistozzi (link)
--- Create a Culture. There is just something special about being able to call a Futsal complex home. The club and community can truly bond over the sport and the atmosphere that RCF East and West create. The Futsal culture and community vibe is amplified and thus, better supports RCF in achieving their greater outcome of uniting Portland using Futsal as the vehicle.
The Challenges of Facility Management
While the benefits of owning and managing a Futsal-specific facility are apparent, these definitely come with various challenges to ensure the operation runs smoothly from both a logistical and financial perspective.
“It’s a high level operation and we take pride in what we do but there are challenges along the way. Expectations are also high. We have strong team that are working hard behind the scenes in the front office and reliable staff preparing or shutting down daily programming & operations,” says Gresham Prehn, RCF East General Manager.
It’s vital to understand these core challenges to effectively manage a facility. Let’s take a closer look:
--- Cost & Financial Investment. The cost of Futsal-specific facility comes at a price and upfront it is important that all the right stakeholders are included to help raise or back the financial burden that will map toward the business plan. Rose City Futsal was very fortunate to have ten committed families passionate about providing a facility for Futsal families, players and fans. This challenge can be prohibitive for many organizations.
--- Programming & Scheduling. Owning any sport-specific facility means that you must have an eye on scheduling and facility usage to ultimately keep the facility busy and meet the financial needs of your business plan annually. The Winter months are in heavy demand while auxiliary seasons can fluctuate more. The challenge requires a strategic and creative program building mindset to meet registration and usage volume targets throughout the year.
--- Responsibility. Ultimately, when you own a Futsal-specific facility, it is your responsibility to maintain, oversee, and manage all aspects of the building. Depending on the size of the building and various elements included, it can be a large undertaking. With that in mind, RCF manages two top-tier facilities so the overarching strategic vision along with the day to day operations needs comes with the territory.
“Having clear goals and a team that is on the same page is essential. Ultimately, [in managing a facility] you need to know yourself, your partners and your values,” states RCF West General Manager Carlee Middleton on the strategic vision of Rose City Futsal.
Kevin has assembled a strong team to embrace all the benefits of managing the two RCF facilities while keeping a pulse on the challenges at hand. This emphasis has resulted in RCF being able to have extra focus on the experience and fueling the Futsal culture in Portland.
The RCF team continues to move the needle in providing the Portland Futsal community with more access and opportunities to love the sport. Locally, RCF is engaging with local non-profits to work toward installing multiple public outdoor Futsal courts - an exciting collaboration to continue to expand upon RCF’s footprint across the Northwest region.
“It’s an all for one effort here at Rose City Futsal. We’ve built a home for the community that loves the game.”
KEVIN MURRAY, Rose City Futsal, Managing Director
Kevin Murray serves as Managing Director at Rose City Futsal. Kevin has a dedication for leading a great team to provide a top-tier Futsal experience and service to a passionate, dynamic and thriving sports community in the Portland area.
JOE LESHER, Rose City Futsal, Director of Marketing
Joe Lesher serves as Director of Marketing at Rose City Futsal. Joe is committed to building a home for the community who love Futsal – a place where people of all age and skill levels will feel welcome and have fun. Rose City Futsal is place to play, learn, watch and to simply gather with friends.
CARLEE MIDDLETON, Rose City Futsal, RCF West General Manager
GRESHAM PREHN, Rose City Futsal, RCF East General Manager
KODY GANIKO, Rose City Futsal, RCF West Program & Academy Director
MARK WYSOCKI, Pivot Futsal, Founder & Chief Editor
Mark Wysocki is an accomplished sports business & Futsal professional with 10+ years in the sports industry supporting some of the world’s leading corporate brands and rising small businesses. Wysocki has been very connected to the Futsal community over the years across the United States & internationally as a consultant, professional Futsal player, program director, strategist, coach, and advocate of the sport.