FC Edmonton fans might notice Burke Group CEO Barry Burke at Clarke Field during Eddies home games. Burke and his family have been strong supporters of the Eddies ever since arriving in Canada. Their company—Burke Group— are also proud partners of FC Edmonton and are a crucial part of promoting the team’s branding initiatives.
Burke and his family moved to Edmonton five years ago from Manchester and their passion for soccer carried over from across the pond. Burke grew up supporting Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world. Burke and his family have now supported their local Edmonton club with purchases of multiple season tickets over the past three years.
“When I first moved from Manchester I originally found out about the Eddies through word of mouth,” Burke recalled. “Then I heard about the British players that are playing for FC Edmonton and that’s when it really all started for me.”
The Burke Group does everything from marketing, design, print and signage for various businesses. Currently, the Eddies work with the Burke Group to help with the team’s print, design and signage needs. From posters, to promotional items and player cards.
“I thought it was only right coming from Manchester to help FC Edmonton expand as a club and help fill up Clarke Field,” Burke stated. “I reached out to the general manager at the time and we started helping the club ever since. It’s nice to be able to contribute to the expanding brand of the club.”
The club has gone through several changes since Burke’s arrival and he has been able to see the changes first hand.
“I see the club take massive strides forward every year,” Burke said. “The fan experience has changed a lot over the year, the match day experience is fantastic now. I think the whole layout with the ground has been great, the restructuring with the stands has been a great change this year as well.”
Countless cities in the world with a soccer team feature local players in their club and that trend is no different with the Eddies. Burke is a massive supporter for local soccer and local players. A Manchester United supporter, Barry draws similarities between the Eddies and the Red Devils.
“Coming from Manchester and supporting Man United, they have so many home grown players, which is a major sort of bragging point,” Burke stated. “FC Edmonton is doing the same thing where they have their home grown players coming to the team from the Academy, which is fantastic. It sends a sense of pride for the city and the city needs to start supporting the team for that reason.”
With the Eddies in the midst of a terrific North American Soccer League campaign, there is plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the team for supporters like Burke and his family.