SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
April 4, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (14 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Eric Flatness, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Stephanie Steiner, and Kristina Vaughn.
Via telephone (2): Daniel Roe and Steve Wilson.
Absent (0): None
I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 16 Present
III. Corporate Partnerships — Michael Shockley, Vice President of Corporate Partnership and Allison Smyrl, Director of Partnership Marketing
→ Michael came from the Sacramento Kings. Before that he was with the Phoenix Suns.
→ Allison came from Seahawks.
B. Background on Partnerships: Playing in CenturyLink field there is quite a bit of partnership integration. There are about 80 partners this year, ranging from XBOX, Delta, Toyota, Virginia Mason, Fred Meyer, Delta Dental, and many more.
C. New Partners for 2017: Boeing, Dannon, El Riconsito, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, City MD, Darigold, Uber, Proliance Surgeons, Pendleton Whisky, Uber.
D. 2017 Objectives
→ to nurture and grow a vibrant sales culture that embraces teamwork, the partnership building process, and effective communication.
→ to strategically grow our top partnerships through capitalizing on marquis elements and developing platforms that authenticate our partners’ objectives.
Corporate Partners aren’t buying ads or official sponsorships, they are buying in to the Sounders brand and those items they receive in return are more incidental. They are also selling the Sounders brand to the public.
E. Question From Alliance Council Members
→ Question from Cameron Collins on the backlash to the relationship with Uber and whether they had taken current events in to account when finalizing the relationship. Conversations with the partners begin years before and come to fruition over time. There were definitely conversations in the Font Office about the relationship due to the ongoing #DeleteUber campaign, but in the end the Partnership was made. The Sounders maintain the ability to end a Partnership in certain instances that would cause the Partnership to be detrimental to the Club.
→ Question from Kristina Vaughn on how often the Sounders reevaluate branding, using the example of the “StubHub Season Ticket Member of the Match” when we are Alliance Members, not Season Ticket Members. The Front Office believes that it is an ongoing process and as they receive input they can attempt to make changes and anticipate other changes that might be beneficial.
IV. Goodbyes and Introductions
A. Eric Flatness: Eric is living in Thailand and has been unable to attend a meeting this year until now. He announces that as of today he is going ex-officio. He is thankful to have been a part of the Council and will miss us a lot. He hopes to be able to call in to some meetings in the future.
B. Nick Biesold: Nick is our newest Council Member. He has wanted to be on council for a while. At his new job there are a lot of Alliance Members, and he was finally able to get his votes to get on the Council. He was never a big soccer fan until college, and now he travels the world going to games. In 2009, he went to a game, got to meet Sounders Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer, and then immediately decided he wanted to have tickets.
V. Constitution & Bylaws
A. Article 4, Section 4.2: General Meeting (Second Reading) – Stephanie Steiner
→ Motion to amend language stating “meeting shall be schedule” to “meeting shall take place” for clarification purposes. Seconded.
Vote to amend Article 4, Section 4.2 passes unanimously, 12-0.
→ Motion to vote on new Article 4. Seconded.
Vote on Article 4, as amended, passes unanimously 12-0.
B. Bylaw 7: Supporter Group Recognition (Second Reading) – Martin Buckley
→ Rewritten bylaw that was designed by representatives of each Supporter Group. The meeting attendees were Martin Buckley (Alliance Council), Tom Conquergood (Gorilla FC), Brian Dilks (Eastside Supporters), Glenn White (Emerald City Supporters), and Steve Wilson (North End Faithful).
→ Motion to vote. Seconded.
Bylaw 7 passes unanimously, 12-0.
→ Cameron Collins asked the Council to recognize Martin Buckley for his hard work on this issue and bringing supporter groups together to come up with a long-term solution to the problem.
VI. Issues for Fans Entering the Stadium – Darla Langdon
→ People are still having issues entering the Stadium. Some people are purposefully testing the rules. One thing that needs to be made clear, and this is on the Sounders to message this, is that a clutch must still fit within the size regulations for a clutch, even if it is placed inside of a bag. This is in the fine print, but is not clear from the images they use. It needs to be spelled out more clearly.
→ There needs to be better signage about the rules, more consistency from the staff (as they often do not know the rules), and less attitude from the staff. It is not our fault that we often have to teach the staff the rules. CONSISTENCY. TRAINING. CUSTOMER SERVICE.
→ Tampons are an example of how the rules can be arbitrary. You cannot have tampons lose in the clear bag, they cannot be in a box (because it is typically too large), but you can have them secured in the bag. If it fits in a properly sized clear bag, why should it not be allowed?
→ They will not allow anything in that has a keyboard. Even though tablets ARE allowed, you cannot bring any keyboard that might attach to it. This has not been communicated by the Club and fits nowhere in the rules beyond a barely applicable catchall. This must be communicated to the fans immediately and be added clearly to the posted regulation on signs and in line.
VI. Initiatives, New Business, and Open Discussion
A. GM Vote: The next vote is coming up next year and Council needs to start preparing for it now. Roberta King and Dan Roe were on Council during the last GM Vote and will write up what they feel worked and what didn’t work last time.
B. Non-Profit Status: Martin Buckley thinks it may be best to push this until next year. To carry this out this year would take a lot of council energy. It would put a lot of requirements upon us, and there may not be enough people to carry the weight.
→ After discussion, the Council is not ready to table this issue just yet, and will begin the conversation of the costs and benefits of becoming a non-profit and becoming separate from the Sounders organization. Martin Buckley, Alex Eagleton, and Mike Dollard will delve further in to the idea.
C. Rescheduling the July Meeting: The July Meeting falls on the Fourth of July, and thus needed to be rescheduled. After looking at the Sounders schedule, the meeting will be held on the 11th of July.
D. Meeting Length: Because of the presentations by the various departments of the Sounders Front Office at our Meetings, Council Meetings have been running over time. After discussion on whether to start earlier, go later, or run a parallel meeting on another date, the Council is in favor of starting earlier when necessary.
E. Ticketmaster & Resale: Mike Dollard brought up that it is not intuitive on the Ticketmaster website how to find the tickets that are being put up for resale by the fans. It seems that this portion is being de-emphasized by Ticketmaster, where the site favors tickets that are new sales. Others have had issues selling tickets through the system.
→ On the Ticketmaster site, you must actively turn on the button that include resale tickets with the new tickets for sale. The website to go directly to resale tickets is located at: http://www.ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com/seattle-sounders-fc
F. New Profiles on Website: Each Council Member should send Martin Buckley an update picture and profile for the Alliance Council Website
G. Locker Check: The locker check is not efficient and they do not seem to have enough people working for them for the amount of people who are in line. People are missing first kick because of how slow the lines move. There also seems to be a locker check that is not affiliated with the Sounders, which should be looked in to.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.