Everything is growing for Nashville SC — its roster, season ticket sales and now its supporters groups.
The Assembly became the second recognized independent supporters group for Nashville SC. The Roadies, founded in 2014, is the original and first independent supporters group to be recognized by the soccer club.
“I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” said Jason Petty, president of The Assembly. “We were a bit of an underdog being the new kids. The club now knows we have the numbers to back them and we can start to build something special.”
Professional soccer teams usually have multiple supporter groups, each with their own mission and values, but come together to cheer on the team. For example, FC Cincinnati has six recognized supporter groups.
“We’re starting our fifth year and have been pitching how incredible this club is for all those years. It’s awesome to see people want to come support the team alongside us,” said Robbie Melton, vice president of The Roadies.
To achieve recognized supporter group status, a supporters group needs at least 50 paying members with half of those purchasing season tickets. Petty said the group’s current membership is at 56 and saw a big bump on Dec. 20, the day Nashville was announced at the 24th MLS expansion team.
Melton said it is valuable to have multiple groups support Nashville SC and is excited to see what The Assembly does and takes on as its own. Melton said The Roadies and The Assembly have a friendly relationship and stressed inclusion for all soccer fans.
“We knew other organizations would probably emerge, and we want to partner with them,” Melton said. “We don’t want two groups that are cheering for the same team to feel like rivals. We’ve always hoped we would be united in the stands. If we’re coming together off the pitch as well, that’s fine too. The biggest thing is we want everybody to love the club and cheer for the club, and it’s awesome to see that support grow.”
Who are The Assembly?
We interviewed Petty to find out more about The Assembly.
Petty is 32-years-old and moved to Nashville in 2014. He is a member of The American Outlaws, the supporters group for the United States national soccer teams, and cheers on Arsenal in the English Premier League.
GG: How did you come up with the name The Assembly?
Petty: That’s one of the more important things. We wanted to do something different from music. We came up with The Assembly from the fact we are in a capital city and this is the Athens of the South and the ancient Greeks helped create democracy. As you can see, our logo takes inspiration from the Parthenon and other Greek designs.
GG: What your mission for The Assembly and overall goal going into the first USL season for Nashville SC?
Petty: We want to keep growing. We want 100 members before the Atlanta game. We also want to get into outreach programs that help our community.
GG: Do you have any local organizations lined up to partner with?
Petty: We are helping Second Harvest Food Bank soon. We also plan on working with the NSC Supporters Trust soon.
GG: Why did you start The Assembly and what makes your group different?
Petty: Our group has a pretty high number of the American Outlaw members and members of English Premier League supporters groups. We started shortly after the USL announcement not knowing the team would end up being Nashville FC and then Nashville SC. We were going to get behind a pro [soccer] team but glad the legacy of Nashville FC lives on.
GG: When and how did you get your passion for soccer?
Petty: It started when I casually watched the 1998 World Cup. It grew more after watch one and when I went to college I started to follow the Champions League and Premier League more closely.
GG: What’s your pitch for someone who likes soccer and is curious about joining a supporters group?
Petty: I think it’s the most fun way to experience a game and you also get to meet a lot of great people. I joined the American Outlaws as soon as I moved to Nashville and love being a part of it. I hope to bring something like that for a local team.
GG: What have you learned from The American Outlaws and other supporters groups before starting The Assembly? What’s the process been like?
Petty: We started fully independent. We had some guys come on board that has been a part of Major League Soccer groups. One of our leaders, Graeme Young, had been a part of a supporters groups in Kansas City and Seattle…It’s tough at times working in getting the numbers. Some days we have a string of people sign up and then we heard nothing. Being very active on social media helps and engaging with folks.
GG: Are there any traditions, chants or anything else unique The Assembly will bring to match day?
Petty: We are still working on chants. We want things to come naturally.
GG: What events do you have planned before the start of the season?
Petty: We are doing a night before party on Feb. 9 at Tailgate Brewery Music Row. We also hope to have pregame events out soon once we iron those out.