Stateside Perspective: Establishing Our International Bees Voice

Thursday, 23 May 2024 | News, In Focus

Charlie Corr of the NYC Bees reflects on a 2023-24 season that might have been challenging on the pitch, but continues to grow in number and significance stateside.  
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When I was thinking about how to summarize Brentford’s challenging season, the obvious focal point was the players and staff in overcoming their slew of injuries and a significant suspension to return for a fourth Premier League season.

My overriding thoughts, though, tended to focus on the supporting side of things. As a stateside group, for a good portion of the new American-based Bees fans who latched onto the club in the Premier League, this might have been one of their first tastes of enduring Brentford’s hurdles for a season-long stretch. Of course, we all know that is nothing compared to select Bees teams of yore, and even myself, I only experienced the club’s final seven seasons in the Championship before helping kick-start our humble international chapter in Manhattan.

I say all this as a prelude to what I thought stood out the most in 2023-24: A continually growing American group that dedicated most of its Saturdays at our pub without hesitation, appreciating the efforts, passion and nuances of what makes Brentford our grand club.

NYC Bees: Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | Media Hub

Brentford chairman Cliff Crown mentioned during the Player of the Season ceremony that there are more than 5 million supporters connected to the club internationally. Take that figure however you’d like as to how they tabulated the in-person and social media count. But naturally we’ve now got a bevy of fans who don’t necessarily make it to West London on a regular basis.

That means we have a responsibility to create a voice abroad, and I feel we’re doing our part – in the initial phase, of course!

Media: The Powerful Entity

As a media guru, my natural inclination in NYC is to expand our connections, big or small, to tell the stories of our respective fandom and tout our Brentford knowledge and support.

NYC Bees wished happy birthday to NBC’s Rebecca Lowe (wife of former Bee Paul Buckle) mid broadcast

Premier League Productions, NBC and Peacock have led to some of our highest exposure, whether it’s our PL Stories feature heading into last year’s Premier League Summer Series, our frequent match day television photos (and a video) making the NBC/USA Network broadcasts, or our regular live Brentford spot on PL Fanzone to chat with hosts Will Perry and former Brentford loanee Clinton Morrison.

Now add to the mix our participation in established podcasts (such as Beesotted during the preseason and start of our regular season), newer outlets like USA-based ‘Across the Seas but Forever Bees’ or ‘Premier League FanFest’, and guest spots on a handful of opposing Premier League club shows. We’ve got something brewing on many fronts to lend our Brentford views.


Playing Above Our Weight

With greater interest for our insight on various shows, that has given us some platforms to remind the footballing landscape (and skewed media) of just how much Brentford played above their weight.

NYC Bees Lev Riley and Charlie Corr, regulars on the ‘Across the Seas but Forever Bees’ podcast, met host Tim Searls at The Red Lion

The Bees spent half a season without our 20-goal striker Ivan Toney from a season ago. The Bees were one of the highest injured teams in the Premier League (only Newcastle has a similar gripe), even though manager Thomas Frank and the club hardly amplified that excuse compared to others in the table.

Out of necessity, we had to change the way we played, with an entirely different back line from September, with a front two for much of the season.

This was because of Toney’s suspension, or Bryan Mbeumo’s ankle injury, or Kevin Schade’s groin injury, or Yoane Wissa’s Africa Cup of Nations absence – should I go on? Yet through all that, we had a focused roster on the pitch and an even-keeled fan base that maintained enough confidence that Brentford would stay on this top-division journey.

Finding Our Niche

That takes us to an offseason that quite frankly most of us have been eager for since we mathematically fended off relegation in late April, to turn the page toward 2024-25. Needless to say, the future overseas is looking very optimistic, with some collaboration with the Brentford front office. We’re already capturing some promotional content for something on the horizon this summer. And there might be an opportunity to connect with one of the club’s sponsors setting up shop in the NYC area; whether that can reach the level of a Visit Tampa Bay event, we’ll see how things pan out.

Every international market is hopefully finding their niche as Brentford’s fandom expands. We’ll always have the luxury of our well-established pub, The Red Lion, which continues to be a hotbed of locals, travelers and West Londoners. It has even drawn mentions during Brentford stadium tours. We’ll continue pursuing media spots. We’ll continue expanding our social media presence – Yoane Wissa even acknowledged our NYC celebration of his goal against Chelsea, which just won Brentford Goal of the Season.

This is just one sector of Brentford’s international base finding its voice, and collectively we’ll make certain this proud organization is heard far and wide!

Charlie Corr – NYC Bees

NYC Bees: Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | Media Hub

Billy “The Bee” Grant spoke to Miles Dilworth together with a number of NYC Bees for a special Beesotted episode in Manhattan.

Charlie Corr and the NYC Bees were the lead feature of an episode of PL Stories, coordinated by Premier League Productions and available on Peacock.