Meeting minutes: March 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

March 6, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (16 of 19): Lisa Angeles, Nick Biesold, Nicholaus Biela, Peter Buck, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (2): Roberta King and Karl Picard.

Absent (1): Martin Buckley.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 16 of 19 Present

III. Work Group Updates: In order to allow Garth to Lagerwey to have as much time as possible, Council agreed to forego work group updates at this Meeting.  Instead, work group leaders will update the Council via the email distribution list. Suggested changes to the February minutes should be sent to Council President Martin Buckley and Council Secretary Cameron Collins by the following Friday.

IV. Meeting with Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey – Council met with Garth and discussed a myriad of issues from the forthcoming General Manager vote to his vision for the future of the Club.

V. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: February 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

February 6, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (15 of 19): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (4): Nick Biesold, Darla Langdon, Roberta King, and Jerry Neil.

I. Call to order – Martin Buckley

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 19 Present

III. 2017 Operations Summary and Ticketing

Taylor Graham, Vice President of Business Operations
Mikaela Purvis, Director of Membership Engagement and Retention
James Milgate, Senior Application Developer

A. 2017 Sounders Operations Summary – Taylor Graham
→ The Sounders will continue to work at getting international soccer matches in Seattle. Council President Martin Buckley raised the concern that there were complaints from the public about scheduling and pricing. This is driven by the organizations involved with the events. Sounders will continue to work with them to try and get them to set the prices within the range to which Seattle market is accustomed.
→ Security Experts at CenturyLink lead the move towards stronger security. Sounders have the highest security standards across MLS.
→ There were eight matches on the same days as the Mariners in 2017. The FO worked to strengthen the relationship with Mariners and offer double headers. There are seven such matches in 2018 and the FO will continue to work with the Mariners and will collaborate on time changes when necessary.
→ The Sounders play in one of the greenest stadiums in the world. 97% waste diversion, all food service and vessels are compostable, they use paper-based ocean biodegradable straws, 25% of energy used is created on site through solar panels, they use 24% less energy because of LED and automatic lighting, and 1.3 million gallons of water are saved via low flow fixtures.
→ The Sounders continued their relationship with the Boys and Girls Club through the use of their Youth Force program, which is a teen employment program. → People enter through a variety of gates, but the Northwest gate is the most popular. NW (29%), South (22%), SW (16%), NE (12%), N (1%), Club (4%), NW VIP (3%), SW VIP (3%), and Suites (1%). The average peak wait time to enter the match is seven minutes.
→ Working with ECS, they will go away from the wrist bands for GA in the upcoming year.
→ The LED Board system will be replaced around April. The technology is outdated, making it cost prohibitive to maintain the old system.
→ In 2018, there will be far more weekend matches. There is a significant jump in Saturday day and evening matches compared to 2017.
→VAR: There were zero times where the technology did not work in the stadium in 2017. They cannot show the replays during VAR in the stadium because of FIFA rules. Replays cannot be shown until play has restarted.

B. Sounders Ticketing, SeatGeek, and Sounders App – Mikaela Purvis & James Milgate
→ Tickets are launching this week so there is more time prior to the season to work with the new system. There are not a lot of changes from the fan perspective, but the biggest changes are ease of use for the fan.
→ For security reasons, Sounders couldn’t transfer passwords and credit card information from Ticketmaster to SeatGeek, which is why season ticket holders had to do it themselves. It was the only process that wasn’t mobile friendly because of set up, but everything will be mobile friendly from now on. There is a small percentage of accounts who have not done this yet and have missed payments. Sounders are tracking them down.
→ Some of the new benefits with SeatGeek include: Pre-sale for single match tickets with a discount and no fees for Alliance Members, you can transfer individual match tickets to friends and they can pay you through the SeatGeek system via Venmo, option to donload tickets as PDFs, no seven date print limitation, and SeatGeek has a dedicated customer service teams for Sounders fans.
→ 900 seats opted out of scarves. Because of this initiative, spearheaded by former Council member Angelica Peck, 6000 balls were donated between this opt out and Delta providing matching dollars. → There are no Supporter Group logos on tickets this year.
→ Ticket packages get put in the mail Wednesday. App goes live Thursday.

IV. Alliance Council Projects Updates

10 Year Anniversary of the Alliance: A skeleton outline of content has been made. Council will be working with the FO to make it a joint project. This will allow for more high-quality content. Molly will be interviewing the three Presidents of the Alliance Council. We still need people to write for the project.

Away Travel: The group is working on the framework for what it will looks like and setting the goals. Discussion on Ticket allocation, so they will meet with FO to discuss the process. Main goal is to make sure that fans who are season ticket holders who are not part of an Supporter Groups will have an opportunity to travel.

Community Involvement: Darla is working on what it will look and has spoken with Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director of the RAVE Foundation. She is currently working on the setting a greater scope that previous involvement. Todd & Molly are joining the group.

Food & Beverage: GFC and Eastside have the same beers. ECS have a new beer. They will all be available in the stadium. Discussion followed on affordability and vegan/vegetarian options. Cpuncil will try to do a meeting with concessions before a match so that we can sample the average stadium fare.

GM Vote: Council is working with the Front Office on visibility. Look at minutes to put more info in to her. The group will be looking into the available voting mechanisms and the timeline necessary to effect October voting. The goal is a high turnout and visibility through local and national press.

Jerseys: In May or June Council will start work on the /2020 jersey with FO. We will continue the conversation on our involvement with the 2019 jersey, which is being finalized now. The new 2018 first kit includes a nod to the Alliance, with both a jocktag that celebrates the Ten Years of the Alliance and a neckhit that has the phrase “YOU WILL HEAR US.” It goes on sale on the 10th.

Matchday Experience: The group currently needs a leader. Peter is stepping up to lead the group.

Outreach/Visibility: The group has begin the conversation on what we are going to target for the coming season. There will be a larger update at the next meeting.

S2: All of the S2 operation have gone to the Seattle Rainiers, and all the fan experience type issues are going to Sounders Community Trust (SCT). Darla will work with Kyle from SCT to see what Council involvement will be.

Scarf Vote: It typically takes place at the end of the Fall. The process of how it runs has been developed for a strong vote to happen this season.

Sitting vs Standing: No updates. The group will need somebody diplomatic to deal with the issue.

Youth Outreach: Todd will lead the group. He has already talked to the Mariners to see what they and Major League Baseball do with the youth. It includes ticket giveaways, working with Seattle Schools, and other activities.

V. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: January 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

January 9, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (15 of 19): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Jesse Kilgore, Gilbert Ko, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (2): Karl Picard and Daniel Roe.

Absent (2): Peter Buck and Roberta King.

I. Call to order – Martin Buckley

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 19 Present

III. New Member Introduction
New Council Members Jesse Kilgore and Gilbert Ko introduced themselves to Council and the Council Members present introduced themselves to Gilbert and Jesse. They talked about why they joined Council, what they hope to accomplish, and their relationships with the Sounders.

IV. Alliance Council Collaboration Survey – Martin Buckley
The Council was surveyed as to what the best form of communication is to stay in touch and get work done. The responses showed that the current use of email communication with phone contact for urgent communications was the best way to stay in touch with our members.

V. 2018 Meeting Themes – Martin Buckley
The last two Council years, the first half of each Council meeting consisted of a presentation from the Front Office; the second half we carried out Council business. The calendar for the club presentations is based upon the deadlines within the front office. The topics included Food & Beverage (February), Marketing (March), Corporate Partnerships (April), RAVE Foundation (May), Jerseys (June), and Ticketing (July). Other topics the Council would like to see presentations on moving forward include Security, GM Vote, Seat Geek, and Matchday Presentation.

The Council expressed a great interest in a more robust conversation on “Food & Beverage,” focusing on food quality, meal deals, vegetarian/vegan food, and beverage diversity. Mike Dollard will reach out to the Supporter Groups for information on their beers for the upcoming season.

VI. 2018 Alliance Council Projects – Stephanie Steiner & Martin Buckley

Stephanie Steiner discussed what a Council project is and project management within the Council. Current 2017-18 Projects, and the members involved with each, are:

10 Year Anniversary Martin Molly Nicholaus Stephanie
Away Travel Alex Gilbert
Community Involvement Darla
Food & Beverage Alex Jeff Jerry Karl Michael
GM Vote Alex Darla Jeff Martin Nick Peter
Jerseys Alex Cameron Gilbert Jerry Martin Michael Nicholaus Nick Stephanie
Matchday Experience Alex Karl Lisa Michael Peter
Outreach & Visibility Cameron Jesse Karl Nicholaus
S2 & The Alliance Cameron Darla Jeff Molly
Scarf Vote Cameron Darla Jerry Roberta
Sitting vs. Standing Lisa Roberta
Youth Outreach Daniel Darla Gilbert Molly Nicholaus Peter Todd

VII. Other Business

The Council has until the end of the week to work on Alliance information for the media kit. We also need bios and a photo from new Council Members for our Council website.

VIII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: December 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

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

Present (15 of 17): Lisa Angeles, Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (2): Nicholaus Biela and Michael Dollard

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 17 Present

III. New Member Introduction
New Council Member Peter Buck introduced himself to Council. He talked to by why he has decided to join Council, what he hopes to accomplish, and his relationship to soccer and the Sounders.

IV. Executive Committee Elections – Stephanie Steiner
A requests was made for volunteers to count the votes. Roberta King, Peter Buck, and Nick Biesold volunteered to do so.

President: Stephanie Steiner and Martin Buckley nominated themselves to run for Alliance Council President. After both candidates gave speeches on why they should be elected President, and the Council was permitted to ask each of them questions, a vote was taken.
Martin Buckley was elected Alliance Council President for the 2017-18 Council Year.

Vice-President: Stephanie Steiner self-nominated to be Council VP and ran without opposition.
Stephanie Steiner becomes Alliance Council President for the 2017-18 Council Year by declaration.

Secretary: Jeff Williams and Cameron Collins nominated themselves to run for Alliance Council Secretary. After both candidates gave speeches on why they should be elected Secretary, and the Council was permitted to ask each of them questions, a vote was taken.
Cameron Collins was elected Alliance Council Secretary for the 2017-18 Council Year.

At-Large Position 1: Molly Wagner, Jeff Williams, Karl Picard, and Todd Cowles nominated themselves to stand for the First At-Large position on the Executive Committee. After all candidates gave speeches on why they should be elected to the Executive Committee, and the Council was permitted to ask each of them questions, a vote was taken.
Todd Cowles was elected as the first At-Large Executive Committee Member for the 2017-18 Council Year.

At-Large Position 2: Molly Wagner, Jeff Williams, and Karl Picard nominated themselves to stand for the Second At-Large position on the Executive Committee. A vote was taken.
Karl Picard was elected as the second At-Large Executive Committee Member for the 2017-18 Council Year.

The 2017-18 Alliance Council Executive Committee is: Martin Buckley, Stephanie Steiner, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, and Karl Picard.

V. Annual Business Meeting – Martin Buckley

The decision was made by the Alliance Council and the Front Office to try running the event as a mainly online event, rather than as the traditional large in-person event. The primary goal of the move was to create greater outreach with the event such that more of our constituents, who often cannot make it to a meeting on a rainy, mid-week evening, can participate and engage with the event. This would also allow the meeting to serve its main purpose of being an informative, yet entertaining, business meeting, rather than simply an event to “hype” the club. Such a move also allowed the Club to move some of the money that had previously been allocated to the ABM to the fan appreciation event the Sounders held in the summer.  While the Council knew it was a potentially risky move, the numbers that came out of the event were very solid.

There were 100 people present in the NINETY from the Alliance Member community. The meeting had 27,000 views from 26,000 unique viewers. It had another 1800 views on YouTube. Based upon the numbers, the Meeting reach four to five times as many people as it typically had.

Overall, the feedback was positive, focusing on the quality of the presentation and content and the questions that were asked. There was some concern from those following the event online about the inability to follow up on answers given to questions. Several Council Members expressed hope that in the future we can expand upon the event and hold it somewhere that can hold 300-400 people such that the atmosphere would be more focused on the fan, and would help the energy in the room. It would allow the number of attendees to be greater than the number of media and Front Office members present.

VI. January Meeting

The January Council Meeting is scheduled to be on January 2, 2018. This meeting will be moved to a better date. Typically, Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey joins the Council for the January Meeting, so we will work with the Sounders to set a mutually agreeable date.   

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: October 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

October 3, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (15 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Mike Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, Jeff Williams and Steve Wilson.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (1): Nick Biesold.

Guest Observers (3): Lisa Angeles, Todd Cowles, and Molly Wagner.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 16 Present and 3 guests.

III. New Member Intros
Three individuals who have been elected to next season’s council were present at the meeting. Lisa, Todd, and Molly introduced themselves and talked about why they joined the Council and what they hope to achieve.

IV. Staff Pro Issues

There have been many challenges with Staff Pro. We have been made aware of issues that have been reported and have reported them to the Club. The Club and CenturyLink issued a joint statement. This statement was presented on our website with our comments. As a Council we continue to work for and expect better from all of the parties involved. What we have been told is that the most effective thing that fans can do when these instances arise is for the person affected to contact their ticket rep directly. While we pass the stories along, it is far more effective in terms of getting all of the parties to act. As a Council, we will, of course, always pass along anything that comes our way.

V. Food & Beverage – Alex Eagleton

Alex sent out an email with an outline of his project where he rates the food quality, presentation, temperature, and how long it takes to get food in the stadium. He has laid out the schedule of the games remaining and his plans in terms of reviewing some of the food. He is open to comment and having volunteers who can help.

VI. Annual Business Meeting – Martin Buckley

We have moved to an online End of the Year Business Meeting. There will be limited in-person attendance at the Ninety. The Alliance Council will have representatives present, but will not be present as a body, so as to allow for others to attend. Front Office, media, representatives from Supporter Groups will be in attendance, and the rest of the seats will be for fans in a Matchpass style giveaway. We will be taking question in advance and live, and will triage the questions and filter out ones that have been asked and answered.

Because it is a primarily online event, there are couple of things that will be done differently. Rather than it being presentations and PowerPoints, it will be a set of stories with different viewpoints. Some of it will be live and in person; some of it will be pre-produced videos. Five or six stories will be throughout the event and there will be questions throughout. We want the questions to be representative of the fanbase as a whole. By being online, the goal is that it will be accessible to everyone, rather than just those that can make it to Seattle on a rainy winter weeknight.

Because the Annual Business Meeting is Wednesday November 8th, the Council is canceling our meeting on Tuesday, November 7th.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

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.