SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
March 7, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (13 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Bill Kaczaraba, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Steve Wilson.
Via telephone (0): None.
Absent (3): Nick Biesold, Eric Flatness, and Roberta King.
I Call to order – Martin Buckley
II Roll – Cameron Collins: 13 of 16 Present
III. Marketing – Kyle Sheldon, VP of Marketing and Megan West, Senior Director of Marketing & Digital
A. 2017 Look & Feel
– Updated schedule posters will be in the market early next week and installed on the north side of the stadium. Going for a back to basics look and focusing on Rave green.
– Updated pole banners in the stadium. Similar look and feel as above to create consistency across marketing.
– Digital and social graphics: Trying to serve the fan and provide as much info as possible. Hired a new graphic designer who has motion and GIF experience, and they will utilize those skills in the coming year to stay up with social media trends. They now have a team of 3.
– No new theme, but they will be doing 2-3 week campaigns that will focus on celebrating the championship.
– They want to make assets specific per channel with consistency across platform
B. Innovation: Marketing
– Creating digital content that focuses on why people should be at the match (championship banner raising for first match, etc.)
– Trying to optimize content for the channel it is on (Facebook vs Twitter vs Snapchat etc. / Desktop vs mobile). Investing more time in to video production in general.
C. Collaboration: Season Ticket Members Box and Golden Ticket
– They worked across different departments to implement the campaign. Golden Ticket was with marketing, ticketing, players, and more. They will continue this trend in the future.
D. Innovation/Collaboration: Matchday Experience
– The Sounders can continue to do a better job in how to maximize participation of the fan. They will be providing maps with info on Matchday including 1) March to the Match, 2) The NINETY, 3) Soccer Celebration, and 4) The Pro Shop.
– They will be putting signs throughout the Pioneer Square area that provide information on where an event is and when it happens. There are 4 going out: two at the March, one at The NINETY, and one in North Plaza.
– The Sounders have done a complete reset of most of the marketing in the stadium. LED displays and jumbo display have updated graphics and images. They made it look more modern and more like their current brand. Similar lines, look and feel, and colors to all of the marketing materials.
– They are trying to bring home the giant trophy that was on the field prior to the MLS Cup. They have made the request to the league. Because it is 20+ feet tall, it is a challenge to find a place in the stadium. They hope to do it, but it is a matter of logistics. Potentially on the South side of the stadium.
– Going back to a print edition program on match day. Deeper storytelling showcasing players. It will be a monthly edition rather than match specific. It will be available digitally online and in the app. There will still be roster cards like the player posters from the end of last season.
– There will again be bag lockers with a $10 fee per object
– The Marketing Department will publish the kit being worn for the next match prior to Matchday. Will be at least the day before.
E. Question From Alliance Council Members
→ Non-English Speaking market and marketing question from Martin Buckley. Everything they do right now is in English. In Seattle, the average age of the Latino population is 24, and the individuals tend to be second generation. most of the research shows that the preference of those individuals is to consume in English. They view doing marketing in other languages as for an international market. They are hoping to create some more content with the Spanish speaking players, but they are not at that point yet
→ Questions on archiving audio and having a match broadcast audio podcast (like they used to) and making the post-game show available as a podcast from Cameron Collins, Karl Picard, and Nick Biela. The team will looking in to these ideas and will see what they can do about them.
→ Question about how much of the current marketing flows down to S2 from Martin Buckley. Some of it flows down. Similar types of coverage but not as comprehensive. It is a challenge to create enough content FOR S2. Sounders Community Trust are making one of their focuses this year highlighting players and stories from the team.
IV. Constitution & Bylaws
A. Article 6, Section 6.1: Honorary Chairman (Second Reading) – Stephanie Steiner
→ We already have the powers that are laid out in this new suggested language, but it clarifies the processes involved going forward.
Vote on Article 6, as amended, passes unanimously 13-0.
B. Article 4, Section 4.2: General Meeting (First Reading) – Stephanie Steiner
→ This proposed amendment to Article 4 of the Alliance Council Constitution would change the language on when the Annual Business Meeting is held, as the old language is restrictive and makes it difficult to secure locations and promote attendance. The new language makes sure it remains at or near the end of the season in order for the meeting to continue to serve the purpose of being a recap of the previous year. This does not, however, allow the meeting to be moved to the beginning of the next season, as that would remove the power of our voice.
→ The language was amended upon presentation to the Alliance Council to read that the meeting shall take places within 8 weeks of the conclusion of regular season play. The reference to “regular season play” means that even if the MLS were to change it’s schedule significantly, the Article will still be accurate without having to change any language in the Constitution.
C. Bylaw 7: Supporter Group Recognition (First Reading) – Martin Buckley
→ All of the Supporter Groups were brought together to come up with a plan. The 2 SG points of emphasis were: (i) they saw the Alliance Council as an Independent entity from the Club who could run the process of approval of new SGs; and (ii) the previously created criteria were valid.
→ The de-recognition portion of the previous Bylaw was removed. What is in its place is that de-recognition by the Alliance Council can only take place through non-activity of an SG. There are already mechanisms in place at the Club and MLS level to punish Support Groups who do not follow the rules, so any Alliance Council involvement in that process would be redundant.
→ Section 7.1 was added to the Bylaw so that the definition of active and inactive is clear, and the SGs will follow this process for showing that they are active at the beginning of each season.
V. Stars for All
A. Letter Sent to MLS: We received no response from the MLS to our letter the Executive Committee sent to them.
B. Solutions: We have the short-term solution, which allows stars to be affixed to replica jerseys, but we need to know the long-term solution. We have gone to Twitter and other social media platforms to state that we still need a long-term solution. There is no time table for when we will be given that solution. The language of the short-term solution makes clear that this was only done for 2017, and we may have to fight this battle all over again for 2018 with out silver star (and hopefully another gold star). We will be following up with the MLS on the long-term solutions.
C. Thank Yous: The Council was very appreciative of the work that the Club did to make the short-term solution happen. The Council particularly wanted to praise Doug Orweiler for his constant dedication to the club and being willing to stand up and fight for the fans.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.