2018 USL Club Services Member of the Year Joey Harvey has been a key figure in San Antonio FC's front office over the club's first three years. | Photo courtesy San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – On and off the field, 2018 USL Club Services Member of the Year Joey Harvey has strived to present fans with a great experience when they visit San Antonio FC’s home at Toyota Field. And with the 2019 season fast approaching, Harvey, SAFC’s Ticket Sales Manager, is aiming to accomplish even more in the Alamo City this year.
While thriving in the dynamic environment of sporting events can be challenging, finding ways to adapt to outside circumstances is a strength that Harvey and his colleagues in the club’s front office take pride in.
“Building such success in a fan base around the club is a testament to our entire team and the passionate, supportive fans that we have here in the city,” said Harvey.
Dedicating his success in ticket sales to the support of the club’s fans, Harvey’s gratitude is reflected by the importance placed on providing the game attendees with a great experience, win, lose or draw, and regardless of whether they’re a soccer fan, or not.
“The energy that our supporters create, and our fans create, the buzz that people leave with after the game it's a feeling that you leave with that you don't get at other sports events in that experience,” Harvey added. “That's kind of what I feel every time we host a home game here.”
The nature of Harvey’s leadership manifests itself not only through the accomplishments of San Antonio FC’s sales department, but also by the way he’s regarded by colleagues around the league. Having the mindset that you can always improve while never being satisfied with what you have is an attitude that pervades the rest of his team.
That spirit of self-improvement has seen Harvey look to soak in as much as he can from outside sources, including the spectrum of ideas that were available at last December’s USL Winter Summit. Providing different tracks for different sections of staff as part of a week-long event, the Winter Summit has proven beneficial for San Antonio FC’s front office team each year, with the knowledge gained allowing Harvey and his team to identify strategies and adjust according to the needs of the San Antonio market.
“Every chance I get to meet with some of the smartest minds in the league, in the industry, I take full advantage of that as much as I can, and I think it’s very valuable to our league,” Harvey said.
Another avenue for personal and team growth for Harvey has been closer to home, with the collection of teams that operate within Spurs Sports & Entertainment offering the unique opportunity to take on positions within different sports but under the same organization. Serving to provide sport and entertainment in South Texas, the organization also operates the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage and the NBA G League’s Austin Spurs as well as its top franchise, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.
Part of the organization prior to landing his position with San Antonio FC, Harvey has been able to draw from those experiences and implement them into a soccer setting. He’s also benefitted from the new faces in the organization that helped build SAFC from the ground up, including former USL President Tim Holt, who has played an important role as SAFC’s Managing Director.
“Over the past three years, [Tim’s] given me opportunities and guidance to lead my department and to lead our USL team into a successful position,” said Harvey. “He’s given us a good balance of flexibility and guidance along the way to help steer us in the right direction. He gives us the power to make our own decisions while keeping us on track as well.”
Additionally, Harvey has taken full advantage of the resources and support available through the USL’s Club Services staff, and the year-round insight its experienced professionals offer.
“It’s a very valuable resource to go to USL and present some ideas and to collect some thoughts about different initiatives that have worked in the past things that haven’t worked and for them to cultivate the network among all of the teams and team leaders,” said Harvey.
For an industry that demands plenty of large-scale coordination, Harvey has created a network that has set him on the path of success. That’s helped him and his team put SAFC among the most successful clubs when it comes to customer satisfaction in the USL Championship over the past three seasons.
“We get a lot of resources and good support from other departments at the AT&T Canter as well, and it puts us into a very good situation to be able to provide a successful product,” said Harvey. “The resources are very valuable, and we are fortunate to be owned by a great ownership group and a great support team.”
And while there might be some who will get away from their professional life once the working week comes to an end, Harvey chooses to spend his Friday night away from office at a sporting event and enjoy himself as fan.
Whether he is wearing his professional cap or his fan cap, he is undeniably a great asset not only for his organization, but within the USL Championship overall as both the club and the league continue to grow hand-in-hand.