Hello, my name is Eddie Benhin, and anyone who knows me, knows that simply put, I am addicted to sports. Ever since a young age, I have found myself watching any sport that was on TV. This passion for sports eventually lead me to co-found a sports blog with my friend back in 2017. This blog is 613 Sports, where we cover all the Ottawa Sports teams. The main reason for starting this blog was the fact that we felt that traditional media was not doing its due diligence in covering all the sports teams. The media only focused on the Sens and Redblacks and ignored all the other sports teams in the city. One of the sports that was affected was the local professional soccer team. This bothered me a lot as I have a deep love for the beautiful game. Since I was 6 years old, I have been waking up early on Saturday mornings to watch the English Premier League with my dad. It always fascinated me how dedicated these fans were to their team, and growing up as an Arsenal fan, I have fallen in love with the team and can see what makes the fans so invested in the game. As I grew older, I turned my attention to the MLS and started watching Montreal Impact and Toronto FC games. Despite both teams being terrible, it excited me to see fans still supporting the teams and it gave me hope that Ottawa one day would have something like that.
While Ottawa has had plenty of professional soccer teams, none ever lasted long. So, when the Ottawa Fury entered the fray, I had my doubts. However, when 14,000 people showed up to the Fury’s inaugural home match, it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, we could have a taste of that European culture. Sadly, I quickly realized that would not be the case. I don’t want to get into the politics of the previous team, but based on the Fury, I have a couple of reasons why the soccer culture in Ottawa is not where it’s supposed to be.
The first reason is the lack of coverage. One would think that with the number of news sources we have (All the newspapers and sports networks), that someone would take the job of fully covering soccer in Ottawa. However, that was not the case at all. Other than Le Droit, there was minimal if not 0 coverage on the team. The game and the culture cannot grow without the coverage of the team. Fans should not have to spend 5 minutes searching for any sliver of content surrounding the team. Fans want and need regular content to keep them engaged and keep the hype surrounding the team. For anyone who has doubts, look at the 67s. Even with a historic season, they were getting exceedingly small coverage and it affected the attendance and hype around the team. It was only once the media started covering the team more, that the whole city bought in. It’s a simple formula that for some reason no one has attempted in the city: The More content = The better the culture.
The second reason is that it appears that everyone wants to do their own thing. While individuality is great, there needs to be a connecting piece that brings everyone together for the ultimate goal of supporting the team. There are so many different ways to support a soccer team, and not every way is meant for everyone. However, if everyone can use these different ways at once and work together, the soccer culture will grow immensely.
With all this in mind, my goal with 613 sports was to try to fix all these problems on my own. However, I quickly realized that while my platform was growing, I was spending more time on the backend and not enough time creating content.
When Capital City Supporters Group approached me they explained to me that their goal was to help create the best fan forward atmosphere on match day but also unite all the fans in the city by constantly creating content. Personally, I realized that this avenue would be the most useful for me. With Capital City, I am able to produce multiple forms of video content by myself and with other members. Some of these videos will be live and others pre-recorded. All the videos will be able to be found on YouTube. I will be focusing a lot on the analytical part of the game, trying to show little narratives that can be found in the numbers. As well, when the COVID restrictions eventually lessen, I will try to focus on the emotional aspect of the beautiful game. This could be me interviewing fans or doing a video series/documentary on a specific game day. My goal with CCSG is to be as creative as possible while producing the most content I can for Atlético Ottawa.
CCSG gives me the freedom to make content on the sport I love, without having to worry about the backend stuff. This allows me to be as creative as I want to be and also allows me to produce the best content out there. CCSG is more than a Supporter’s group to me. I see it as a bridge that connects the team we love to the fans that support our team.
I am looking forward to releasing more content with Capital City and engaging with all the Atlético fans here in Ottawa..
If you are interested in joining Capital City like I did please send us an email at: email@example.com.