Ten Years of Alliance – 2008

Adrian Hanauer and Joe Roth introduce new DP Freddie Ljungberg | Photo Roberta King

3 June 2017

By Roberta King

2008 – Democracy in Sports, Seattle style

One of the new team’s owners, Drew Carey, introduced the idea of having season ticket ‘members’ who vote on club matters, including the fate of the general manager every four years.

First up, the club invited its inaugural season ticket members to decide on the name of the new team. “Sounders” won by write-in votes instead of the three choices proposed by the club.

Did you vote? Do you remember the alternate name choices?

Two other votes followed, with “The Alliance” winning as the name for the season ticket members’ association, and the Sounders FC official marching band became “Sound Wave.”

In other news that year, Sounders FC selected its first player, Sebastien Le Toux, from the USL Sounders. In August, Kasey Keller was presented as the Sounders goalkeeper at a news conference at the stadium in front of kids from Sounders soccer camps.

Can you name the third player signed by the club? Later that fall, the Sounders held an open news conference to announce Freddie Ljungberg as the Sounders first Designated Player. Were you there?

Editors notes:

Here is how the Seattle and Sports press recorded the signing of Freddie:

Seattle Times – http://www.seattletimes.com/news/sounders-fc-sign-freddie-ljungberg/
Seattle PI – http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/article/Sounders-sign-Swedish-star-Ljungberg-1289742.php

ESPN/Soccernet – http://www.espnfc.com/story/586247
Sports Illustrated – https://www.si.com/soccer/2008/10/28/ljungberg

2017 Initiatives and Programs

Sounders FC Alliance Council 2017 Initiatives
Last updated: 3 June 2017

By Martin Buckley and Stephanie Steiner

This is our working list of initiatives and projects that Alliance Council is working on.
As we complete activities – they will be marked with green and strike-through text.

New activities since the previous update will be marked NEW

As an Alliance member – if you have input, want to get involved or want to see us do more – why not join us!

(more…)

Voting for Alliance Council

1 June 2017

By Martin Buckley

Today we announced changes to how votes are counted for Alliance Council. This is at the heart of what we mean by Democracy in Sports.

Voting for Alliance Council members is one of the fastest and easiest ways to participate in Democracy in Sports –

Before you start you will need:

  • Your Alliance Membership Number – also known as your Season Ticket Account Number.
  • Email address connected with this Alliance Membership.

Note: your Alliance Membership number or Season Ticket Account number is in the SoundersFC App under MatchPass, on your printed MatchPass or contact your Ticket Rep.

Voting is hosted and managed through The Club. In order to vote first go to the voting site. You can access this directly at https://vote.soundersfc.com or by navigating through the Sounders FC website. Supporters – Democracy In Sports – Nominate and Vote.

Note: the Login/Sign up button on the front page of Sounders FC website is for the MLS affiliated website – it’s worth doing – but won’t help you with nomination or voting.

Once at the Nomination and Voting page you will need to login. This is where your email address associated with your Alliance Membership or Season Ticket is required. You will also need your Account Number.

You will see a list of Available Ballots. This is where all election and votes will be listed – including GM Vote Of Confidence, Alliance Council elections, Constitution Ratification etc.

To vote yourself – click Vote Now. Review the list of Alliance Council nominees, read their bios, talk to them at a game – and then click Choose to vote. Simple.

 

Nominating yourself for Alliance Council

1 June 2017

By Martin Buckley

Today we announced changes to how votes are counted for Alliance Council. This is at the heart of what we mean by Democracy in Sports.

Are you interested in standing for Alliance Council – and representing your fellow fans, Season Ticket Holders and Alliance Members.  Here’s the quick guide.

Before you start you will need:

  • Your Alliance Membership Number – also known as your Season Ticket Account Number.
  • Email address connected with this Alliance Membership.

Note: your Alliance Membership number or Season Ticket Account number is in the SoundersFC App under MatchPass, on your printed MatchPass or contact your Ticket Rep.

Voting is hosted and managed through The Club. In order to nominate first go to the voting site. You can access this directly at https://vote.soundersfc.com or  by navigating through the Sounders FC website. Supporters – Democracy In Sports – Nominate and Vote.

Note: the Login/Sign up button on the front page of Sounders FC website is for the MLS affiliated website – it’s worth doing – but won’t help you with nomination or voting.

Once at the Nomination and Voting page you will need to login. This is where your email address associated with your Alliance Membership or Season Ticket is required. You will also need your Account Number.

You will see a list of Available Ballots. This is where all election and votes will be listed – including GM Vote Of Confidence, Alliance Council elections, Constitution Ratification etc.

To nominate yourself – click Nominate Myself. Fill in the short bio, click Next and Submit. You are done and on the ballot. Next step – talk to your friends and fellow fans and get their votes!

Voting for Alliance Council – one season ticket, one vote

1 June 2017

By Martin Buckley

Democracy In Sports is at the heart of why The Alliance and The Alliance Council exist. Voting and electing your fan representatives to the Alliance Council is one of the most visible ways you can be involved and let your voice be heard.

Today we made some changes in partnership with The Club to further support these goals. With immediate effect each Season Ticket will represent one vote.

If you have multiple season tickets – Alliance Memberships – then they will all be counted as an aggregate or weighted vote. If you nominate your season tickets – then the nominee can vote, using one of your votes. An aggregate or weighted vote is used once – so you can not use one vote for Candidate A and one vote for Candidate B – all of your votes are placed for the selected choice.

Let’s consider a group of friends – Zach, Chad, Cristian and Stef – and some real-world scenarios that you may be familiar with:

  • Zach has one season ticket.
    • Zach has one vote.
  • Zach has two season tickets – and the second season ticket is not allocated.
    • Zach has an an aggregate of two votes.
  • Zach has two season tickets. Zach has allocated one season ticket to Chad.
    • Zach has one vote. Chad has one vote.
  • Zach has four season tickets, one season ticket is allocated to Chad, the remaining two are not allocated.
    • Zach has an aggregate of three votes. Chad has one vote.
  • Zach has four season tickets, one season ticket each is allocated to Chad, Cristian and Stef.
    • Zach, Chad, Cristian and Stef all have one vote.

In addition here is updated guidance on how to stand for Alliance Council and how to use your vote.

Please consider standing – we have a list of projects and programs we need help with. Also please vote! You make a difference – and your voice needs to be heard.

Counting down to 2018 – Ten Years of The Alliance

19 May 2017

By Martin Buckley

Our Sounders FC Alliance crest tells the story – Established in 2008. That means we are counting down to Ten Years of The Alliance, Ten Years of Democracy in Sports, Ten Years of fans, The Alliance having a voice in how our Club is run.

As part of this countdown Roberta King and others will be curating a series of short articles and posts which tell some of the story of The Alliance. Some are well known, some have already faded into our collective memories. We hope to bring them back for you to enjoy over the coming months.

Why not share some of your memories below. What would you like to see again?

The full series of articles can be found here:

http://ssfcalliancecouncil.com/ten-years/

Meeting Recap: April 2017

April 16th, 2017
By Karl Picard

The initial part of the meeting was reviewing the corporate partnerships with the Front Office and Michael Shockley (VP of Corporate Partnerships) and Allison Smyrl (Director of Partnership Marketing).

We discussed some of the new partners and how the key to these relationships is to align with the their vision, values, and objectives.  They continue to grow their top partnerships around key elements like jerseys.  They have a range of partners from the large ones like XBOX to much smaller ones.   But all partnerships need to make sense and provide value to the Club.  They look at things from both a book value and  a market value based on the brand, they try not to make it transactional but more buying into the Sounders and their fans and the overall experience.   There are limited edition Coke cans that have been released to celebrate the MLS Cup.

Up next was the discussion around the constitution.  The first one was around Article 4 which dealt with our General meeting and membership in the Alliance.  After some initial word-smithing , the article was approved and passed.  This completed the constitution article changes by the council which is a great accomplishment.

Next up was to review changes to the Supporter Group bylaw (which was reviewed and commented on by representatives of the 4 supporter groups).  The main focus was to remove any de-recognition of any supporter groups.  There was also clarification of the requirements to be recognized which didn’t change fundamentally, essentially show leadership, at least 25 members, participation in group activities to support the club, and be a corporate or charitable entity.

Next up was discussing some issues that have been reported around Gate issues.  Some of these are inconsistencies with what people are experiences, and mostly with women and the purses or clutches.  It’s hard to determine if these are isolated issue or bigger issues.  If you put smaller bags in the clear totes you need to make sure it meets the guidelines.  Tablet cases are OK but if they have keyboards those are not allowed from what we can tell.   Be sure to let the Sounders know if you have negative experiences, include some details and the gate when you have the issue (Twitter is the best as they can potentially deal with it at the game).  Look for a blog post on this with more details coming soon.

We had some open discussion where we reviewed the Initiatives and Programs of the Alliance Council in 2017, moving the July 4th meeting to July 11th, potentially having longer meetings as needed to address work items, and ensuring working groups are providing status at the meetings around progress and updates.

That’s all for this month.  Be sure to comment or let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or right here on the blog.

 

2016 Year in Review


Photo from Cedarpoint.com

Keep Your Arms and Legs inside the Ride at all Times

By Stephanie Steiner

In August I reminded owners and front office decision-makers that our General Manager was eligible for recall vote as soon as the last whistle blew on regular season play. I looked right at Garth Lagerwey and said, “This is not a time for people to tell you they have your back. They need to have your back.” In a year with some Front Office decisions that really made people angry, Alliance Members were ready to make him pay for it. Only four months later, late at night on December tenth, I got to congratulate him and shake his father’s hand (and wipe a few of my own joyful tears). In March 2016, my in-boxes were full of hate mail over the mobile-only ticketing decision the Alliance Council didn’t influence, and in November we watched our boys advance to the Final. We learned quickly that no matter what the conversation is about “rebuilding” or “loyalty,” our fan base has little patience for it. The loyalty is deep with only a few: we have work to do there. In late spring and early summer there was incoming communication with threatening tones, and in November we finally got to drop the word “interim” from Head Coach Brian Schmetzer: at the Annual Business Meeting he shared the love Schmetz-style with all of you.

What a roller coaster of a season. (more…)

Supporter Group Recognition – doing the right thing for all

28 March 2017

By Martin Buckley

Back in October 2016 the Alliance Council sent our updated and revised Constitution out to The Alliance for a ratification vote. Very quickly we realised that one part of that document had unintended consequences for our incredible Supporter Groups.

The specific issue was around the recognition of Supporter Groups. When you travel to an away match under the umbrella of a Supporter Group several important things happen. Safety, security, access to the ground – these are all pre-negotiated before the game. There are also MLS, Club and Stadium specific Supporter Group Exemptions around flags, two-poles and the like. All of this would be lost if a Supporter Group lost recognition.

I would like to publicly acknowledge the deep knowledge, history, context and support from Dave Clark, Glenn White and others. (more…)