Purina - welcome to the team

A PARTNERSHIP BORN AND BRED IN ST. LOUIS

A PARTNERSHIP BORN AND BRED IN ST. LOUIS

ST. LOUIS CITY SC WELCOMES
PURINA AS OUR KIT SPONSOR

Building on the momentum of the past six months, St. Louis CITY SC introduced global pet care powerhouse Purina as its first founding partner and kit sponsor today. The STLMade company will be woven into the fabric of St. Louis CITY’s visual identity on and off the pitch when the club kicks off its inaugural MLS season in 2023.

This groundbreaking partnership brings together two female-led organizations both rooted in St. Louis and committed to the region’s continued growth and revitalization.

“We have always been committed to choosing partners who embody the STLMade movement, representing the spirit of a new St. Louis, so we are thrilled to partner with an iconic company like Purina that has such deep roots in St. Louis,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, St. Louis CITY SC Chief Executive Officer. “Not only does Purina share our love for St. Louis, but they also have our same vision of working to make our community stronger. I couldn’t think of a better company to be our club’s first founding partner and to be represented on the front of our team’s kit.”

Carolyn Kindle Betz holding CITY scarf with Purina logo.

Nestlé Purina PetCare CEO and President Nina Leigh Krueger believes St. Louis CITY SC and Purina are a perfect match because soccer and pets both bring people together. “Enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them is our purpose at Purina, because pets have such a unique ability to make our lives better,” said Krueger. “We are excited to work with the St. Louis CITY SC team to create programs putting pets and sport at the center of community good.”

Person holding Purina Flag

The goal is to bring the power of pets to soccer fans and find new ways to deepen the involvement of both Purina and St. Louis CITY SC in the community. Whether it’s working with the Petfinder team at Purina to host pet adoption events, promoting youth development through sport and leadership opportunities or bringing new pet-friendly elements into existing soccer traditions, this partnership will benefit the entire community.

The shared core values and commitment to moving St. Louis forward are what really attracted Purina to this partnership. “It goes beyond the jersey sponsorship,” said Krueger. “When you look at what St. Louis CITY SC has already done, the investment and the vision, the partnership really makes sense for us based on our shared mission to positively impact St. Louis, now and in the future.”

It’s only fitting that this announcement comes just weeks after the club released new renderings of its world-class stadium district, including practice fields, a training facility, a fan pavilion and team headquarters in Downtown West – all just a short distance from Purina’s headquarters.

This partnership is just the latest evidence that the spirit of a new St. Louis is most definitely rising.



ST. LOUIS CITY TAPS LOCAL TALENT AS SPORTING COMMUNITY RELATIONS CONSULTANTS

Tim Twellman
Charles Renken
elvir Kafedzic

MEET OUR NEW #STLMADE SPORTING COMMUNITY RELATIONS CONSULTANTS

If you have spent any time around a soccer pitch in the St. Louis area, you probably know these names – Twellman, Renken and Kafedzic.

By bringing on former professional soccer players Tim Twellman, Charles Renken and Elvir Kafedzic – three local soccer experts with deep ties to the St. Louis community – St. Louis CITY SC continues to build on its best-in-class sporting department.

Twellman, Renken and Kafedzic will all work together as Sporting Community Relations Consultants and assist St. Louis CITY Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel in constructing the club’s on-field operations and developing its youth academy.

“There’s so much home-grown talent in St. Louis,” said Pfannenstiel. “It’s amazing having Tim, Charles and Elvir to help establish meaningful relationships with soccer organizations throughout the region and scout and analyze local talent across all levels.”

Tim Twellman is a St. Louis native who brings a lifetime of experience to the club. After attending St. Louis University High School and SIUE, Twellman went on to play professionally in both the North American Soccer League (NASL) and Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). He is the father of former USMNT forward and current ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman. In addition to his new role with St. Louis CITY SC, he will continue to serve as the Varsity Head Coach at Villa Duchesne High School and the Director of Twellman Soccer Academy.

Charles Renken was born in Lusaka, Zambia, before moving to America at age 9 and settling with his family in Edwardsville, IL. He played with local organizations Metro United and Scott Gallagher Soccer Club before going on to play professional soccer for nine years, in the US with the Portland Timbers and internationally with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. During his stint in the Bundesliga, Renken also made a distinct impression on the Hoffenheim Head of International Relations and Scouting – Lutz Pfannenstiel. His reputation for developing the skillset of young St. Louis soccer players will be a huge asset in his new role with the club.

Elvir Kafedzic was born in Bosnia but eventually relocated to St. Louis at age 16 because of the Bosnian War. He attended Affton High School and helped Lindenwood University win its first and only NAIA National Championship before going on to play professionally for various teams, including the St. Louis Steamers, California Cougars and the St. Louis Strikers where he played alongside his close friend and fellow Bosnian Vedad Ibišević. In 2013, he established the St. Louis Dragons youth soccer club, allowing him to share his knowledge of the game with players throughout the region.

In addition to scouting and analyzing soccer talent across all levels, their biggest task will be making and maintaining connections with clubs, schools, teams and the broader soccer community throughout Missouri and neighboring states.

We couldn’t be more excited for Tim, Charles and Elvir to join our club.

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Khalia Collier

KHALIA COLLIER NAMED VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Khalia Collier

A true trailblazer in the sports world, Khalia Collier is set to join St. Louis CITY SC as the MLS expansion club continues to prepare for its inaugural season in 2023.

In her new role as St. Louis CITY’s Vice President of Community Relations, Collier will continue to build on the team’s promise to be an exceptional club and neighbor by leading with intentional, inclusive and equitable actions for the entire community.

The St. Louis native has always had a passion for sports and her hometown. After playing basketball at Fort Zumwalt South High School and then Columbia College, she became the owner of the St. Louis Surge in 2011. For nearly a decade, she has been transforming the culture around the Surge – the first sustainable women’s professional basketball team in St. Louis – creating a team structure that builds community leaders and mentors.

In addition to being a relentless champion for the city of St. Louis, Collier and the Surge also won two national championships.

Taking a step back from her general manager duties, Collier will remain the owner of the Surge while taking on this new role with St. Louis CITY. Channeling her inherent passion for sports management and community development, she will push St. Louis CITY SC forward to redefine winning through community impact and outreach.

Collier is well-known for her philosophy: “Don’t just play the game. Change it.” And that’s exactly what her mission will be as she continues to build on the bond between the community and its new MLS team, uniting the region through the power of sports.

“A sense of community has been at the heart of everything our ownership group and team have done since day one,” explained Carolyn Kindle Betz, CEO of St. Louis CITY SC. “And I firmly believe there’s no one better than Khalia to take the reins and lead our community development.”

We can’t wait to see the impact that Khalia makes in our community.

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matt sebek portrait photograph

ST. LOUIS CITY CONTINUES TO CHANGE THE GAME BEFORE THE TEAM EVEN TAKES THE PITCH

matt sebek portrait photograph

GET TO KNOW OUR NEW CXO

St. Louis CITY SC continues to break new ground in its efforts to build an exceptional team, on and off the pitch.

By bringing on Matt Sebek as our Chief Experience Officer (CXO) – a first-ever position for a MLS club that combines both senior marketing and technology roles – we can elevate our promise to build a truly personalized, innovative fan-first experience that excites and unites the community beyond soccer.

Coming from World Wide Technology with over a decade of experience helping top global brands build impactful consumer experiences through human-centered design, innovative practices and data-driven insights, Sebek will lead St. Louis CITY as the architect of a distinct, forward-thinking approach to fan engagement.

A St. Louis native who played soccer at St. Louis University High School and earned All-Conference honors at the University of Evansville, Sebek has a deep passion for the beautiful game as well as building personalized consumer experiences.

Sebek’s impact with the club is already being felt. He recently joined the team’s Chief Revenue Officer, Dennis Moore, to help launch St. Louis CITY’s season ticket deposit campaign which set a new MLS record with 30,000 season ticket deposits in the first 15 minutes and over 50,000 in the first 24 hours.

Sebek will lead community and experiential research, best-in-breed technology selection for the stadium as well as marketing and activation plans that sustain and evolve fan interest until CITY’s historical, inaugural season in 2023. This includes expansion of the club’s merchandise strategy, which set Major League Soccer sales records since the brand launched earlier this year.

“This is such an important moment for our team, and I couldn’t be more excited as we continue making history and exploring opportunities to be innovative industry leaders,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, Chief Executive Officer for St. Louis CITY SC. “Since day one, we have strived to make each person in our region feel connected to the team. Matt’s hiring as MLS’ first-ever CXO puts us in such a great position to show our fans’ spirit and passion, and our true commitment to them.”

We are thrilled to officially announce Matt’s addition to our team.

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ST. LOUIS CITY SC SCORES TWO MORE INTERNATIONAL SPORTING HIRES

St. Louis CITY SC is wasting no time in building a best-in-class sporting department.

Hot off the heels of introducing German soccer legend Lutz Pfannenstiel as our Sporting Director, it became Lutz’s turn to make HIS first announcement – that he is tapping two top international executives, Bernhard Peters and Mike Forde, to help him build the team’s on-field operations and put St. Louis on the international soccer map.

Peters is widely recognized as one of the most successful youth academy architects in the world. He and Lutz previously worked together for many years when Lutz was head of international relations and scouting at TSG Hoffenheim. Peters will assist Pfannenstiel with the development of the club’s youth academy. He has a storied history with the famed Bundesliga, previously serving as Sporting Director for Hamburger SV and Director of high performance for TSG Hoffenheim. As a senior consultant to the club, Peters will work alongside Lutz to develop the organization’s youth academy, which will be part of the recently announced MLS elite player development platform and the official MLS youth academy in the St. Louis region.

Forde will consult with the club to establish and maintain a model for high-performance and sustained culture. Forde has over 20 years of experience working with teams across the United States and Europe, including the English Premier League, to create cutting-edge performance models that deliver winning results.

Forde is the Executive Chairman of Sportsology, a strategic consultancy that helps sports teams lay the foundations for success by transforming organizational systems and behaviors. Delivering advisory services and digital solutions to support the definition of strategy, codification of culture, and enhancement of talent identification, Sportsology works with sports organizations across all major US leagues and European soccer.

By hiring Peters and Forde, we are bringing in two well-respected international sports executives with decades of experience in professional soccer and a deep knowledge of the game. They will assist in Lutz’s efforts to develop homegrown talent and identify and pursue international players to build a club that is diverse, highly competitive and proudly represents the St. Louis region.

We are excited to have Mike and Bernhard as members of our CITY.

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MEET LUTZ PFANNENSTIEL, ST. LOUIS CITY SC SPORTING DIRECTOR

German soccer legend Lutz Pfannenstiel (pronounced LOOTZ FAN-EN-SHEEL) joins St. Louis CITY SC as our Sporting Director, bringing his rich on and off the field background – from playing and working in the sport all over the globe – into this pivotal role with the team.

As Sporting Director, Pfannenstiel will serve as the first member of our technical staff ahead of our inaugural MLS season. Pfannenstiel will be responsible for all on-field operations for St. Louis CITY SC, which includes recruiting coaches, hiring staff, identifying and signing players, and creating and developing a youth academy.

Before his move to St. Louis, Missouri, Pfannenstiel was formerly a goalkeeper, coach, coaching instructor and on-air football contributor. From starting his playing career with Germany’s U-17 team in 1986 to retirement from the field in 2011, Pfannenstiel has been the only professional player to have played in all six continental FIFA membership associations.

During his coaching career, Pfannenstiel was the assistant coach for the Cuba national football team, the Manglerud Star (Norway), the Ramblers F.C. (Nambia), the Nambia national team and worked as a scout and head of international relations for German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim beginning in 2011. Most recently, Pfannenstiel was the managing director of sports at Fortuna Düsseldorf. He has also been a coaching instructor for FIFA and the German Football Association. Pfannenstiel’s on-air football contribution is vast, as he has been on BBC World, CNN and Eurosport, and was a pundit for the German television station ZDF during the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.

In addition to his new Sporting Director role with St. Louis CITY SC, Pfannenstiel will also continue one of his off-field passions, his philanthropic effort, Global United FC. Founded by Pfannenstiel in 2011, Global United FC has been an international non-profit dedicated to protecting the environment by raising awareness of climate science issues. Global United FC joins professional football players, coaches and referees from all over the world for charity matches and individual projects in endangered locations.

In 2009, he released a German language autobiography Unhaltbar – Meine Abenteuer als Welttorhüter, with an English version following in 2014 under the title The Unstoppable Keeper.

Welcome to the club, Lutz!

Messages From
The International
Soccer World

Lutz Pfannenstiel
Meets the Media

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