SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

May 1, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (14 of 18): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Gilbert Ko, Jerry Neil, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (3): Lisa Angeles, Jesse Kilgore, and Darla Langdon.

Absent (1): Daniel Roe.

I Call to order – Martin Buckley

II Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 18 Present

III. Strategy Session on Marketing and Game Presentation with Todd Albright, Sounders FC Director of Marketing and Fan Experience

Todd has worked for the Club for two years. He originally started as an employee of the Seattle Supersonics. Before he was an employee of the Sounders, he was an Alliance Member.

→ Marketing Goals for 2018: Average attendance was 44,247 per game in 2017. In 2018, the Club is hoping to exceed that number. The overarching goal is to sell out all of CenturyLink by 2026.

→ 2018 Marketing Areas of Focus: The Sounders hope to capitalize upon the World Cup. The team could have up to 4 players playing in the tournament. The Club already has a Sounders in Russia webpage set up and will have World Cup watch parties. They also plan to giveaway trips similar to the Rivalry Road Trip contest they just had to win a trip to Portland for the 100th ever matchup between the Sounders and Timbers. Over half of the people who entered were not Alliance Members. Sounders will also be launching a page to highlight the Sounders/Timbers rivalry leading up to the matches this season.

Gameday Presentation: There are some exciting changes coming to the Gameday Presentation. They are going to rework the tunnel where the players enter, allowing more media access to the players as they are about to enter the field. The goal is to have this completed for the Portland match on June 30th. It will be temporary, so it can go in and out for Seahawks game.
Passionate discussion about pre-game happy hour beer pricing in Stadium. The club is missing an opportunity to get people in earlier. New LED boards are going in for the next match. Almost all of the music in the stadium is now from local bands. Members of the Council talked about how much they love Jonathan Wright, the new National Anthem performer.

IV Bylaw 10, Second Reading: As we have been talking with the Club about the forthcoming General Manager vote, the Front Office asked that we more cleanly define who is eligible to participate in the vote under our new Constitution. The proposed new language for Bylaw 10 is as follows:

BYLAW 10.  ALLIANCE MEMBER ELIGIBILITY

The Alliance Council may allow additional memberships into the Alliance beyond those members with commercially purchased ticket packages.

10.1      Purchase Price: Membership in the Alliance may be purchased; the price shall be $75 per season.

10.2      Funds:  The Alliance Council shall have the right to allocate or use the funds collected for payment to join the Alliance.

10.3      Rejection of Membership: The Alliance Council may at any time create a process to reject or eliminate members who appear to be working against our commitment to protecting, upholding, and furthering the interests of the greater Sounders community.

10.4      GM Vote and Recall voting eligibility:

10.4.1   Eligible Alliance Voters Only Alliance Members who have purchased Full Season Ticket or Half Season Ticket packages through the Club are eligible to vote in a GM vote.

10.4.2   Ticket Brokers. Club-identified commercial Ticket Brokers are not eligible to vote in a GM Vote.

The Sounders currently have one ticket broker with whom they work. This broker would be the only entity excluded under this new clause.

Moved for a vote. Seconded. Bylaw 10, as amended, passes by a vote of 13-1.

V At-Large Executive Committee Member Election:

With Karl Picard moving to ex officio, the Council has an open at-large Executive Committee position available. A call was made for nominations. Jeff Williams self-nominated for the position and ran without opposition. Jeff Williams becomes an At-Large Member of the Alliance Council Executive Committee for the 2017-18 Council Year by declaration

VI 2018 Alliance Council Projects

Scarf Vote (Roberta King & Martin Buckley): Some proposed changes to how the scarf vote works. It would fall under a new timetable. As in previous years, the Council will run the scarf vote with the Club. This time, the Council will collect the designs and reduce it to the best 4. The Club will get the scarves made so fans can see them at the Summer Fan Celebration.

The schedule has a really short voting window.  A proposal came from the Council to have vote in person at Fan Celebration in the summer. This would eliminate any voter fatigue moving in to the GM vote. This idea will be taken back to the Front Office.

Youth Outreach (Todd Cowles):

  • Focus:In general, they are seeking a focus around Youth Outreach that: makes a difference / moves the needle for youth in a positive way; is welcomed by the Sounders, providing benefit versus just being a distraction or added work for them; and provides easy and/or energizing opportunities for the Alliance Council and the Alliance to “lean in” and contribute. Members of the group will be reaching out to local clubs and the RAVE Foundation to see what ideas they can bring back to our Club.
  • Butts in Seats:There is energy around and visible paths to good possibilities with getting youth/butts in the seats that might not normally be there. There are empty seats available and there are youth (and their families) out there that who, at worst, simply experience a great match, and at best, eventually “join the brand.”

Sitting vs. Standing (Roberta King & Lisa Angeles): Will be working with the Club to get a question on the topic in the end of year survey.

Outreach & Visibility: The Group needs a new leader with Karl Picard becoming an ex officio Council Member. Cameron Collins will be the new group leader.        

Matchday Experience (Peter Buck): The group has had internal conversation about the best path forward and will be meeting with the Front Office to discuss.

Community Involvement (Darla Langdon): There are several upcoming opportunities for the Council to volunteer with the RAVE Foundation. June: YouthCare. July: 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. August: RAVE Yesler Field Opening. September: Kick Childhood Cancer Month, Day of Caring with United Way of King County, Rave Green Run, and RAVE One Ball Program. October: Washington Green Schools Project. November & December: Helping families in need during the holiday season.

Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton & Jerry Neil): The Club heard the requests brought forth by the Council and will be working with a local winery to create a canned sparkling rosé inside the stadium.

GM Vote (Martin Buckley): The group met with Club. The Front Office knows that this is going to be big and will involve lots of messaging and marketing. The Council gave a lot of ideas to the Club that they could use to promote the vote, from paid social to the monthly magazine having a piece. Most of the lifting will be by the Front Office and they are weaving it in to their summer activities to start the conversation in August at the fan event. Mail, Social, in-game, halftime. Voting will open on the 19th of September. Will close on the 17th of October.  Big unveil is at Summer Fan Event. Messaging will start in August.

Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton): The group will be touring the stadium, eating the food and keeping track of the information they discuss. They are unhappy with the rise in beer prices and will continue a conversation with the Club on beverage selection and pricing.

Away Travel (Alex Eagleton): Jeff Williams has joined the group and they are working on ideas of how best to move forward.

10-Year Anniversary of the Alliance (Roberta King & Molly Wagner): With Kyle Sheldon leaving the Club, the champion within the FO for the Anniversary has departed. The Council will need to work with the FO on finding a new point person to carry water from the Club side.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn