Meeting Minutes: September 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

September 5, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (14 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Mike Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, Jeff Williams and Steve Wilson.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (2): Bill Kaczaraba and Karl Picard.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 16 Present

III. Lamar Neagle and Head Coach Brian Schmetzer visit the Council: Council Members were able to ask questions and spend time with the coach and Lamar.

IV. Council Members-Elect

Several People who have been elected to next year’s Council have asked if they can sit in on this year’s council to start getting involved. They would come in as volunteers to start engaging on projects, but would have no ability to vote.  This would be inviting these individuals for this year only, and does not set a precedent for future councils having to follow suit.

Martin Buckley proposes that the Council maintain the ability to ask these individuals leave for a portion of a meeting should something sensitive or confidential need to be discussed.

Moved and seconded. Allowing Council Members-Elect to attend the remainder of this Council year’s Council Meetings passes unanimously by a vote of 14-0.

V. Stars for All – Martin Buckley

Martin spoke to Sounders COO Bart Wiley for a long length of time, and we believe the Stars for All issue has been solved. There were three main concerns we needed addressed as part of the Stars for All campaign: (i) stars on all jerseys for this season, both replica and authentic, (ii) stars on jerseys moving forward, whether silver or gold and silver; and (iii) stars for all the other teams in Major League Soccer as well.

(1) Stars on Jerseys for this Season: We were able to achieve this goal earlier in the season.

(2) Stars on All Jerseys in Future Seasons: Whether silver or both gold and silver, the club has agreed that it will provide Stars for all jerseys in 2018 as well. It will purchase the necessary stars and make them available to local mom and pop stores, if required, so that they can take part in providing stars on jerseys for their customer. This will likely only be an issue for the 2018 season, as there may be a new solution beginning in 2019, as per conversations with the Club.

(3) Stars for All Clubs: The Sounders have agreed to support any other MLS club who wishes to put stars on all of their jerseys in the same manner that the Sounders have. While the club in question would have to do so on their own, the Sounders will provide all necessary information to such a club as to the process they went through to order and distribute Stars to fans’ jerseys.

VI. 2019 Sounders Kit: The Council had previously provided feedback to the club on what they thought the direction of the 2019 kits should go. The Council were shown the inspiration for the jersey at this meeting. This information is confidential.

VII. Revisiting the Recognition Brainstorming Project – Stephanie Steiner
The Council reviewed a compiled list of a list it had anonymously brainstormed of “What reward would each Council Member give to the Member to that Member’s right?”

VIII. Revisiting Food & Concessions – Alex Eagleton
Alex, along with many other members of the Council, feel that the concessions have not lived up to the expectations that were set for the Council at the beginning of the season. All of the food has also suddenly changed with the start of the Seahawks season. Alex is going to start doing “Food Tours” around the stadium and blogging about his food and beverage experiences.

IX. Scarf Vote Results – Kristina Vaughn
Winner of the scarf design was scarf #1, City of Seattle. It received 45.3% of the vote. It will be announced at halftime of Sunday’s match. The Council suggested to the Front Office that the scarf have a star on it, and while many in the front office agreed, the Marketing Department decided that it would not have a star. They have ordered it with no star.

X. Adjournment
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

 

Meeting Minutes: August 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

August 1, 2017 – 7:00 PM – RAVE Green Conference Room

Present (12 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Alex Eagleton, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (4): Nick Biesold, Mike Dollard, Karl Picard, and Steve Wilson.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 12 of 16 Present

III. Council Initiatives

A. Constitution Vote – Martin Buckley: The Alliance-wide vote on the new Constitution has concluded. The Constitution was approved by the Alliance in a weighted vote of 96% in favor of the new Constitution and 4% opposed to the new Constitution.

→ Cameron Collins asked what the process would be now that S2 season ticket holders are now members of the Alliance under the new Constitution. Martin stated that, as this was approved mid-season, next season they should enjoy full member rights.

B. Scarf Vote – Kristina Vaughn: Kristina thanked all involved in the Scarf Vote Group. There was very little turnaround time, but running the vote on our own website made it a seamless process. Vote is now live and will be sent out as part of renewals.

When an Alliance Member renews, they’ll get an email telling them to vote for the scarves. On August 14, a link to the vote will be sent to everyone that is a designee and/or has yet to renew. The Council were then shown the final five scarves that will be voted upon by the Alliance.

C. Council member Rewards – Stephanie Steiner: On the survey given to Alliance Council Members, which was discussed in the July meeting, current Council Members said they were not on Council to receive “stuff.” But that doesn’t help the Council figure out what to offer as rewards. Thus, Council Members present were presented with a new survey to fill out on what do we think the person to our right deserves as a reward. This will help the Council approach the Front Office with ideas, and there will be a meeting of the minds on things they can offer us of which we are currently unaware.

D. Survey Results from Current Members – Stephanie Steiner: Overall, there was a lot of discussion of Constitution, but we are done with that, so it should rarely come up. There are some issues that could be addressed moving forward, but they are small changes that don’t require the kind of overhaul we just did.

→ Questions include:

  • What do you like most about serving on the Alliance Council?
  • What motivates you to do work for Alliance Council?
  • What would help us get more projects completed?
  • What would you like to do next year?
  • What is your wish list?

One major takeaway was that it may be worth rethinking how we interact with one another. If a Council Member is in a group and are not hearing from others in the group via email when attempting to have discussion, there is a list of members and their phone numbers on our Google Drive that can be utilized. Council Members must be more proactive.

IV. Monthly Call with Front Office & Meeting with Gary Wright, Sounders Consultant and former Sounders Senior Vice President – Stephanie Steiner & Martin Buckley

A.    Monthly Call: The call focused on the relationship between the Front Office and the Council and how to make it as productive as possible. It was a robust conversation and Martin and Stephanie voiced the wants and needs of the Council.

B.    Meeting with Gary Wright: Gary has been very responsive to working on the relationship between the Club and the Council. This conversation focused on that relationship, challenges, and an Alliance Member concern regarding diversity.

V. Open Conversation

A. Food & Beverage – Alex Eagleton: Alex has made an effort to eat at many places around the stadium, and the food lacks quality. Cameron Collins spoke on the limited vegetarian and vegan options being worse than before, despite promises to the contrary and Martin. Alex also has found that while they claim to have many different drink options, that often the specialty options, especially in beer and wine, are not ready during the match or not available at all.

B. Ticket Renewals – Dan Roe: An update from Dan on news concerning ticket renewals.

→Pricing: 75% of tickets are going up in price. 25% are going down. Those tickets closer to the center line and closer to the field will now be more than those that are not in those locations.

→Section 100NA:  The upper portion of section 100 has typically been non-alcoholic. The Club has contacted the 13 season ticket members currently sitting in that section to see if they truly valued the section being non-alcoholic. The overwhelming majority said it did not make a difference to them, so, in order to sell out that section, the Club will be removing the NA tag and allowing alcohol in that section. They are looking to advertise it as a more family friendly section, however.

→ ECS & resale: ECS has requested that members not sell their tickets for more than face value. The club has crafted language to help message that to people with season tickets in the section, and will allow for people to move if necessary. The statement will read, “The ECS supporter sections are priced in a way to ensure affordable ticketing options are available to those wanting to join the supporter culture. Members within these sections are asked not to sell tickets for more than the single match price. If you disagree, relocation is always an option.”

→ S2: For the 2018 season, the south side will not be available for season ticket purchase at S2 matches. Due to attendance in past seasons, the focus will be to fill the North Side to increase matchday atmosphere. This will also increase efficiency from a staffing perspective so the Club can provide the best matchday customer service. There are 9 season ticket members affected by this change and they will receive priority relocation to make sure they find satisfactory seats for next season. Cameron Collins lamented that, with the move, he is sad that he will no longer be sitting by coach Schmetzer and won’t hear his running commentary on the game.

→ Visiting Supporters: Visiting supporters will no longer sit in section 203. Instead, qll visiting supporters will be placed in Section 300/301/302, where Portland and Vancouver supporters are already seated.

VI. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: July 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

July 10, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (13 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Mike Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (1): Bill Kaczaraba

Absent (2): Nicholaus Biela and Steve Wilson.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 13 of 16 Present

III. Ticket Renewals: Mikaela Purvis, Director of Membership Engagement & Retention

A. Retention → Their top goal is retention. They hope to increase ticket member retention by enriching the ticket members’ lives and creating moments through soccer. The goals break down in to six areas: 1) relationship with club, 2) customer service, 3) sales, 4) engagement, 5) events, and 6) benefits.

a. Relationship with club: Focus on creating camps and other opportunities for kids and the community; supporting the supporter groups and the Alliance Council; and the matchday experience.

b. Customer service: Focus on reactive problem solving and proactive communication.

c. Sales: Focus on referrals, group premium outings, and upselling.

d. Engagement: Focus on social media, rewards, touchpoints, and “wow moments.”

e. Events: Focus on access to players and bonding with other fans.

f. Benefits: Focus on savings, access, and rewards/experiences.

B. Midseason Survey: The Club sent out a mid-season survey to Alliance Members to see how they are using their benefits, what their satisfaction is with benefits, and the likelihood that they would renew.

a. The top 3 benefits were Options to Resell, Alliance Member Scarf, and Pro Shop Discount.

b. People were highly satisfied with mobile ticketing.

c. People were satisfied with the Alliance Council.

d. The only area of dissatisfaction was Matchpass Perks. Only about 25 to 30% of Alliance Members use their Matchpass Perks and people are primarily entered in to random drawings.

e. Although people aRe fond of their Alliance Member Scarves, the Club liked the opportunity the Council proposed where Alliance Members could forego their scarf, donating its value to charity. In 2018, this opportunity will be available during renewal. Decisions are for the entire account; Every ticket must give up the scarf for the entire account. All donations will be used for Rave Foundation’s soccer ball program. Delta Airlines will be matching the donations. The Council would like the Club to ask Delta Airlines if they can also match Alliance Member donations directly to Rave Foundation, as a Member may not want to forego their scarf.

C. Season Ticket Member Celebration: on August 13th, the Sounders will be having an event at CenturyLink Field from 11 am to 2 pm to celebrate the fans.

D. Autorenewal: a large percentage of accounts are still set to opt-in, but following this renewal period, every account will be set to autorenewal. With autorenewal, if you choose not to renew, you simply fill out an online form that deals with the process.

E. Renewal Process: The renewal period is August 1-September 1. Relocations will take place September 11-29. Must have renewed current location to be eligible for relocation. Playoff Tickets & new sales will take place in October.

F. Sitting vs. Standing: The Council brought up the perennial topic of Sitting versus Standing. The current conversation has been that the Sounders do not want to dictate whether a section sits or stands. It is majority rules. If the majority choose to sit, it is a sitting section. If they choose to stand, it is a standing section.

a. The issue that several members of the Council raised is that in the stands, as a practical matter, it is “monkey see, monkey do.” People do not necessarily know they have the ability to have their section be a sitting section, and if people in the front row stand, it means everyone will end up having to stand.

b. Because everyone believes they have to stand, how will the Club communicate that this is an option? Could a survey be part of the renewal process?

c. A survey could potentially show that this is not a major issue, that it is a vocal minority who raise the issue.

d. The Council noted that the Club would likely worry that asking as part of the renewal process could open a can of worms and set the expectation that change is coming, and that there would need to be a plan in place on enforcement in a section. Currently, in the Club sections, security handle the issue when someone stands in the sitting sections. The Front Office will discuss this matter further.

IV. Alliance Council Survey

Martin Buckley Alliance Council Members from 2015 – 2017 were asked to take a survey on what they thought the Council did well, and what they thought could be improved. The survey had a 74% response rate. The focus was on perception, open-ended responses, improvements, areas of strength, and areas of weakness.

A. Would you recommend joining the Council? Common themes included historical tedium of the Constitution, Front Office perceptions, Council Member expectations, and Work vs. Fun. People either loved or hated being on Council; there was very little in-between.

B. Alliance Council on the Front Office: Three years of the Alliance Council spoke and felt that the Front Office did not take the Council seriously, primarily treating the Council as a focus group rather than as a partner. Roberta gave the historical perspective that in the beginning, the relationship was very adversarial, so the Council got off on the wrong foot from the outset. The feeling was that it does seem to be getting better.

C. What would make the Alliance Council better? There was a wide range of ideas on how we could improve. The main takeaways were outreach so that the Alliance could know more about Democracy in Sports, having a budget to help with independence and potentially forming a non-profit, and better follow up from the body of the Council.

V. Council Initiatives

A. Scarf Vote – Kristina Vaughn & Roberta King: It is coming up quickly. All members of the committee should be ready to vote because it will require a quick turnaround to narrow all of the entries down to the five that will be presented to the Alliance for a vote.

B. 10-year Anniversary of the Alliance – Roberta King & Bil Kaczaraba: Roberta presented that she has made an outline of topics and requested volunteers to work on the project. The work will include writing articles, filming interviews, and more. Bill and Roberta will be collaborating with President Steiner on how best to move the project forward.

C. Constitution Vote – Martin Buckley: The Alliance-wide vote on the new Constitution is ongoing. Thus far, of those who click through to the Alliance Council webpage, 60% follow through to the voting site.

V. Monthly Call with Front Office

Stephanie Steiner and Martin Buckley had their monthly scheduled call with the Front Office. In the call with the FO, they focused on their frustration that the email sent to the Alliance about Constitution Voting being live had a subject line about Bowling with Players. Many people did not even open the email because of that headline. More traffic came to the Alliance Council webpage than came from twitter than came from their email. If Democracy in Sports is going to be a pillar of the organization, they need to treat it as such, rather than as a pillar of marketing. Stephanie and Martin also expressed the Council’s frustration that the Constitution vote did not receive equal billing with the Rave Foundation’s bowling event in an email nor in the stadium. The Club interpretation was that in our relationship we have very high highs and very low lows. We need to work on the low so that they do not happen in the future. They understand that the Council relationship with Gary Wright has been created to help improve the relationship between the Club and the Council.

VI. Open Conversation

A. Council Tables at CenturyLink Field: In August, we have the opportunity as a Council to have tables on the concourse at two matches: 8/12 & 8/20. We will use the opportunity to promote the Alliance Council and create more visibility, as well as promote the Scarf Vote.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: June 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

June 6, 2017 – 7:00 PM –  The NINETY

Present (14 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins,  Mike Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (2): Daniel Roe & Steve Wilson.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 16 Present

III. 2019 Sounders Jersey – Mikaela Purvis, Director of Membership Engagement & Retention; Taylor Graham, Vice President of Business Operations; and Bart Wiley, Chief Operating Officer

Last year was the first year that the Alliance Council was able to work with the Club on the jersey. The Club took some great feedback to Adidas and the relationship with the Alliance Council in relation to the 2018 jersey worked out well.

→ The Club wants a second kit for 2019 that reflects the Sounders brand

→ What is the vision and inspiration for the 2019 kit?

→ What is the most important story to bring to life with 2019 jersey?

→ Are there identity elements make sure are included in 2019 jersey?

IV. New Member: Jeff Williams
Jeff was our last new member of the year, getting enough votes to join Council just prior to June 1st, when voting resets and people who get elected join next year’s Council.

→Jeff is a former soccer coach who has three daughters who have all played soccer at a collegiate level. His eldest daughter even played for the Seattle club in a previous iteration of the women’s professional soccer league.

→ Jeff wants to help continue the fan experience he has had since Day 1 with the Sounders. He hopes for all new fans to have the same positive experience he has had.

V. Council Initiatives

A.    Stars for All: In the jersey portion of tonight’s meeting, the Front Office let the Council know that Doug Orwiler, Director of Retail Operations for the Sounders, is working with the MLS to come up with a long-term solution to the issues we have raised in our Stars for All campaign.

B.    Charitable Contribution – Darla Langdon & Bill Kaczaraba: The Council has a sum of money from last year’s Matchpass Rewards program that we can donate to a charity of our choice. There was a discussion of various options for the donation, focusing primarily on whether the donation should be made to an organization that works within the soccer community or to a non-profit not affiliated with soccer in any way.

→ Council Vote: Should Council’s charitable contribution be to a non-profit that is part of the soccer community?: 13 votes for a non-profit that works within the soccer community. 1 vote for a non-profit that is not affiliated with the Sounders or soccer in any way.

The discussion as to what organization the money should be donated to focused primarily on two organizations: The RAVE Foundation and Steve Zakuani’s Kingdom Hope. If the money went to the RAVE Foundation, it would go directly to the Foundation’s upcoming Sports Media Institute (where they need $5000 to fund the event) and RAVE’s art program at their camps ($2000 is needed). If the money were donated to Kingdom Hope, it would go to their Scholarship programs, but no information was received on the amount of money needed for the program or how the donation would be used. After passionate discussion for both sides, a vote was taken.

→Council Vote: Should Council’s charitable contribution go to The RAVE Foundation or Kingdom Hope?: 13 votes for RAVE Foundation, 0 votes for Kingdom Hope, and 1 abstention.

C.    Scarf Vote – Kristina Vaughn & Roberta King:  The Front Office has suggested that the scarf vote take place at the same time as ticket renewal and could be built in to that process. Rough Timeline: Launch (July 10), End of Entries (July 24), Alliance Council narrows down (July 25-29), Voting begins (August 1), Voting Ends (August 31), Winner announced at match (September 1). Karl Picard will tease that the scarf vote is coming through our Alliance Council Twitter account.

D.    10-year Anniversary of the Alliance: Roberta King presented to the Council that there is already one post up on our website, and the hope is to get 1-2 posts per month, possibly structuring it with each post being about a different year of the Alliance. Roberta has agreed to be the project manager and will work with Bill Kaczaraba to help get interviews done for the project. The two will work together to create an outline for how the project should proceed, but would like other Council Members to work on the project.

E.    Annual Business Meeting – Martin Buckley: There has been further discussion on changing it to an online event that will be streamed live and have live interaction with the online audience. It would be a small event in person, with 150-200 people present. The Council is looking to the Zach Scott Testimonial Match for online metrics, which shows that it has had 34,000 views since the match.

F.    Constitution Vote: The Alliance-wide vote on the new Constitution will take place in July. The Council needs to write several op-eds for our website on different topics surrounding the vote and is looking for volunteers. The Council will host the why, where, and how on our own website and link back to the voting platform. Stephanie Steiner will writer about why the Constitution has changed. Nickle Biesold will write about why the vote is important. Mike Dollard has agreed to help review and edit the posts.

V. Monthly Call with Front Office

Stephanie Steiner and Martin Buckley had their monthly scheduled call with the Front Office and will be meeting with Gary Wright, Sounders Consultant and former Senior Vice President, next week. In this conversation with the Front Office, amongst other things, the two discussed the “The Save” mural, and how disappointed the Council was to not be a part of it when the Club knew we were working on a way to commemorate “The Save.”

VI. Open Conversation

A.    Council Perks: Council Vice-President Martin Buckley has developed a potential perks system for Council Member Participation. This system would have four tiers entitled Rave Green (tier 1), Sounder Blue (tier 2), MLS Gold Scarf (tier 3), and MLS Cup Gold star (tier 4). Each move up to the next tier mandates greater involvement from an Alliance Council Member. This would allow for benefits above and beyond what council members already receive to be allocated when the space to participate in the opportunity is limited.

B.    Garage Sale: Cameron Collins has spoken to the Club about the Alliance Council being the sponsor of the Garage Sale, and the word from the Front Office was that it was a possibility but we would need a buy-in from the Council. The entire Council raised their hands when an informal vote was taken to gauge volunteer interest from the Council.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: May 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

May 2, 2017 – 7:00 PM –  The NINETY

Present (13 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Alex Eagleton, Eric Flatness, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Steve Wilson.

Via telephone (1): Daniel Roe.

Absent (2): Nick Biesold and Mike Dollard.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 13 of 16 Present

III. Community Outreach: Kimberly Aigner, Director of Community Outreach; Ashley Forsberg, Executive Director, RAVE Foundation; and Katie Pendleton, Community Outreach Coordinator

The outreach campaign of the Sounders has been broken down in to several parts.

1.     LEAD: Drive awareness and engagement around key community initiatives throughout the year. There are three leadership pillars that they are focusing on this year.

→ GIVE BIG: Seattle Foundation’s event. It allows the Sounders to support 1700 nonprofits under one umbrella. The event is scheduled for May 10th. Sounders will be participating at the May 6th match, where many nonprofits will be present. The Seattle Foundation will be giving out $350,000 on May 10th.  At that match, one fan will be picked and $2500 will be given to their nonprofit of choice from those 1700.

·       Every single player on the team, as well as Coaches Schmetzer and Pineda, have chosen a nonprofit for GIVE BIG.  Examples: Gustav Svensson: Seattle Parks Foundation, Stefan Frei: RAVE Foundation, Cristian Roldan: America Scores Seattle. Brad Evans: Seattle Humane. Each player will sign their game worn boots or get a ball to give to a nonprofit. Each nonprofit chosen by the players will be given 10 tickets to the friendly on July 8th.

·       Every staff member in the Sounders Front Office has been asked to pick a nonprofit as well.

→ PRIDE: The Sounders want to go beyond the in-stadium events. The Sounders’ Pride match this year is June 21st. They will raise awareness for LGBTQ equality. The Sounders will be playing Orlando City, who also support making Pride a large event.

→KICK CHILDHOOD CANCER: The Sounders work with a lot of local childhood cancer organizations throughout the year. The match for Kick Childhood Cancer is Sept 11th against Vancouver.

2.     SERVE

→ Monthly service opportunities for the Sounders’ staff. Examples: Working with JUMA at Mariners Opening Day where they raised over $12,000; Earth Day service projects where staff made a Rain Garden at a local school.

→ Supporting player initiatives. Examples: Jordan Morris works with kids who have Type 1 Diabetes; Brad Evans works with animal organizations; Cristian Roldan works with America Scores.

3.     INVEST: The Sounders use the RAVE Foundation as a means to invest in the community. Through RAVE, the Sounders are building accessible soccer fields in urban areas that provide free play to shape young citizens and strengthen communities.

→ Invest in Programming: Beyond soccer programming, the Yesler community has said that they want art programming. RAVE is creating an art program called Goals for Art that Stef Frei will also be involved with. They will work with the community to be a true partner and help with the art. Yesler Place field will open in late summer 2018.

→ Target Communities: South Park, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Yesler, Lake City, White Center, Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, Tacoma. Investing in these communities beyond the fields.

→Question from Martin Buckley: Is there a plan to move East of the Mountains and work with communities there? A: Yes, they hope to be able to do that in the future.

→ Different types of programming that ask, “How can soccer help?”: Octagon to have pop up play for kids anywhere. One ball program where they give kids a ball, which has now been increased to 10,000 balls. Programming to Help with Middle School students and using the Sounders media team as an asset to provide a workshop style sports media institute in the month of July that will bring in kids from the target RAVE communities.

RAVE’S CORE PARTNERS: Soccer for Success, America Scores, Street Soccer Seattle, Special Olympics Washington, and Latino Community Fund Washington State.

IV. Council Initiatives

A.    GM Vote: A leader is needed for the GM Vote group and those involved with the previous GM Vote need to be polled on what worked for that vote and what did not work. Nick Biela volunteers to be lead. Martin Buckley volunteers to help.

B.    Stars for All – Martin Buckely & Stephanie Steiner: There should be more information coming on the long term solution. The Sounders play against Portland at the end of the month, so the Council may want to begin a conversation with their fanbase, as they were denied their stars as well.

C.    Matchpass Rewards: 20% of the proceeds from Matchpass Rewards were designated in 2016 to be given to the Alliance Council for charitable spending. This amount is just under $7,000. The Council must decide to which charitable organization they wish to donate these funds. This will be lead by Darla Langdon and Bill Kaczaraba.

D.    SoundersFC.com: The Alliance Council information on the Sounders FC website has been updated.

E.    “The Save”: Nick Biela has been researching the possibility of memorializing “The Save.” Nick has sent out letters to the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, and Seattle Mariners to learn about their process in making statues. This is just one of many options. The Sounders Front Office has cautioned against a full-fledged statue, since they do not own the stadium.

F.    Hosting MLS Cup & Ticketing Issues: If the Sounders were to host the MLS Cup Final, many Alliance Members would be displaced due to the amount of tickets required to be allotted for the MLS. The Front Office is aware that the Council wishes to be a part of this conversation when it arises.

G.   Non-Profit Status – Martin Buckley: There is a worry that if the Council were to pursue non-profit status, it would be creating a work deficit for future Councils. There were be a proposal/recommendation at the June meeting as to whether to pursue this idea.

H.   Rebuilding Website: The new Alliance Council site is completely rebuilt and live.

I.      Vote Designation – Martin Buckley & Cameron Collins: The Sounders agree that “one ticket, one vote” across the board, regardless of whether a seat is designated, is the best option. The Council and Sounders will message on how to designate seats within an account when Alliance Council voting flips on June 1.

J.     Constitution – Martin Buckely: The Constitution work has been completed and the Council will work with the Club on how best to execute the Alliance-wide vote to ratify the Constitution. The hope is that this vote will take place in June.

K.   Annual Business Meeting – Martin Buckley: There is a conversation currently taking place as to whether the Meeting continues as an in-person event as it has in the past or whether it becomes an online event where people can stream at home an engage directly with the event during the stream.

L.    To-Do List – Stephanie Steiner: Council President Stephanie Steiner is currently compiling a book with all important dates and processes for the Council. This will be sure that future Councils are aware of all important dates and deadlines throughout the year, and ensure smooth transitions of power.

M.  10-year Anniversary of the Alliance: Next season is the ten-year anniversary of the Alliance. The Council will begin a conversation on how best to commemorate this anniversary. Roberta King has volunteered to lead this group.

V. Meeting with Gary Wright, Sounders Consultant (previously Senior Vice President of Business Operations and Senior Vice President)

Council President Stephanie Steiner and Council Vice-President Martin Buckley met with Sounders Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer and Club Consultant Gary Wright. Gary will work as a liaison between the Council and the Club, to help a productive relationship moving forward. He hopes to make the Alliance Council stronger, larger, and even more representative of the Alliance as a whole.

VI. Open Conversation

A.    Council Perks: There are opportunities that the Club may offer to the Council which have a limited number of slots for attendance. How does the Council set the criteria for who may attend? In the past, it was often done on a first-come first-served manner, but this may be a disadvantage to those who are not available at any given moment to respond to an email. Is there a way to reward those who are giving the most time and effort to the Council? Should this be a weighted drawing? An allocation Order?

B.    Council Participation: Council Secretary Cameron Collins will create a spreadsheet with a list of the Council Committees and their leaders and members. This will provide a better opportunity for those who wish to participate. This document will be posted in the Council Google Drive.

C.    Locker Checks: Darla Langdon and Alex Eagleton looked in to the non-official locker checks that have popped up around the stadium. Many of them were being offered by the food vendors along Occidental.

D.    Buttons: For small events, Cameron Collins and Nick Biela will be able to make Alliance buttons. For larger events, the Council may need to look in to funding the mass-production of buttons.

E.    Garage Sale: Cameron Collins will speak with the Club about the possibility of the Council sponsoring the annual Garage Sale held by the Sounders.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: April 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

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

A.    Introductions

→ 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.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.