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!

  • NEW: Constitution Vote: Martin and Stephanie are leads
    • One Ticket = One Vote
    • Martin working with MP on timeline for vote – some time in July to avoid clash with renewal
    • Communication
      • Constitution (old versions and new?) on our website
      • Blog: uniqueness in American Soccer – Democracy in Sports
      • Blog: why it’s important to update the Constitution
      • Blog: Why voting is important
      • Possible ad pieces: (ads need to be designed) video screens on concourses, big screen on matchday, in Sounders Monthly, in Beyond the 90 <- could mean July vote for print pieces to happen
    • Voting: needs to be identified as voting or ratification – not “nominate for council”
    • Social Media pushes: links to blogs, run the ad graphics
  • NEW: GM vote: Nicholaus Biela is lead, Martin will support.
    • 2018 is the next GM Vote of Confidence/No Confidence
    • Identify how previous voting was managed: need input from those involved in 2012
    • Identify communication process and timeline, what should improve from 2012
    • Identify tasks
    • Begin conversation with FO, identify main contacts to discuss prior process and improvements
    • Blogs need to be written:
      • Blog: Unique in American Soccer
      • Blog: Why voting is important
      • Ad pieces on Video screens on concourses, Big Screen on matchday, in Sounders Monthly, in Beyond the 90 ß deadlines for print pieces to happen
    • Voting: needs to be identified as GM Vote – not “nominate for council”
    • Social Media pushes: links to blogs, run the ad graphics
  • Visibility: Karl is lead.
    • Alliance Council events: “brought to you by,”
    • Incorporate video into Visibility:
      • Eurosport video – tweet/post to FB once online – done
    • Council Member recaps: started with 3.7 meeting
    • Alliance Council Meeting Recaps
    • Alliance Member interviews video and web: why are you here, what do you want to work on?
    • Alliance Council profiles – still missing two
    • “Ask Me Anything” sessions? <- finish 2016 Qs, Draft, Mid-season, Fitness Tech
    • Chalk Talks – record this time and post on our site?
    • Impressed by C-Link head chef Michael Johnson, who agreed to do a live chat.
    • Meet and Greet sessions: need to be booked
    • Sponsor the Garage Sale?
    • Alliance Council pin (or badge for the English)
  • NEW: Annual Business Meeting: Martin is lead

    • Determine the “must meet” priorities
    • Examine the expense level vs. engagement level
    • Explore new ideas to either build engagement or reduce expenses, but preferably both
    • Explore meeting ideas with Front Office (Marketing) + Alliance Council
  • NEW: 2018 Scarf vote: Kristina and Roberta are leads
    • Establish and communicate timelines
    • Establish group of judges
    • Narrow field to finalists
    • Voting platform will be as 2017 (not Alliance Council/Constitution/GM vote platform)
  • Recruiting for Council: Stephanie is lead, everyone is encouraged. 
    • pursue the right people to build the community.
    • Will email Adrian to follow up on the agreed-upon targets for “full out assault.”
    • For all: work their contact lists for good targets.  Set up F2F conversations pre-match with Executive Committee members for recruiting.
    • Mikaela has a list of EOY survey respondents who either said they were interested in Council or replied “I’m not sure, tell me more.” Per the privacy agreement with the Club and the opt-ins, they can’t just pass out their email addresses to us
      • Stephanie crafted a piece of communication that they can send to those Alliance members on our behalf as follow up.
      • Poor results – edited email made no sense, “join Alliance Council” instead of “nominate yourself” people tried to rsvp.
    • What needs to be done: target individuals with specific skills to accomplish projects and initiate new ones, knowledge of process management.
  • Stars For All: Stephanie and Martin are leads.
    • Call with EC 2.20, Call with AC 2.21
    • Well-developed plan: starts with ask for what we want.
    • Keep rest of plan under wraps, reveal only what’s necessary to whom it’s necessary.
      • Letter sent to MLS HQ, received 2.22.17
      • Twitter campaign begun 2.22.17
      • Call received: short term solution to move forward. Joint press releases 2.23.17.
      • Sent follow up letter Monday 3.13
      • Communication from the Club: leave the communication to them, a committee was formed by MLS. No fan representation on the committee.
      • Received email from Bill Ordower, EVP and General Counsel MLS acknowledging receipt of letters.
    • NEW: waiting for communication from MLS via Front Office around “long term solution”
    • #NotDoneYet
    • Made clear: we are seeking an all-Club solution.
  • NEW: Charitable giving from Matchpass Rewards: Darla and Bill are leads

    • 20% of proceeds from 2016 are for the Alliance Council to designate the charitable spend.
    • Stephanie emailed Mikaela for amount and procedure on 3.27.17, forwarded to Council.
    • Alliance Council to decide on recipient for funds at June meeting
    • Approx $7,000 to nominate to appropriate charity.
  • NEW: Ten Year Anniversary of Alliance / Council: Martin and Roberta are leads

    • Celebration and Recap of accomplishments, memories: collect photos, stories
    • Need plan and content people
      • Blog: interview Likkit P tunnel wall (Stephanie)
      • Blog: Golden Gloves for Keller (Roberta)
      • Blog: Paul C writes or someone interviews Paul
      • Vlog: Video interview of Gary Wright
      • Vlog: Video of Joe, Adrian
      • Vlog: Video of Drew – why’d you start this?
    • Social Media Campaign to begin Jan 2018 #WeAreTheAlliance or something like that, something members can take and add to
    • Social Media Campaign now to collect input
  • The Save:Nick Biela is lead, support Cameron and Mike Dollard
    • The Alliance Council has been asked to pursue a statue commemorating The Save. The desire is difficult to measure, but it’s coming to us often in the form of “what are you doing?” and “when will we find out?” versus words like “if” or indefinite phrases.
    • SSFC does not own the stadium; therefore a permanent installation there is not a good idea. Other ideas/locations?  Costs?
    • How to raise capital? Note: Angelica’s memo regarding scarf + donation option at renewal
    • Nicholaus has reached out to stadiums with statues installed requesting information.
  • Non-profit status: Martin is lead
    • interesting considering the matching hourly rates available. Non-profit status wouldn’t be something we’d complete unless we are advanced enough to meet and maintain the requirements.
    • Taylor and Mikaela have been informed so that this doesn’t cause them to be embarrassed should Adrian or Maya inquire about it.  Will require legal advice.
    • Taken to Alliance Council April 2017 with recommendation not to pursue until we have a larger body of active volunteers to carry work. Will need some pro-bono legal work.
    • Further discussion ongoing
  • Budget and resources: Martin is lead.
    • Sent to Front Office – waiting for reply/update.
    • Front Office budget deadlines have passed – but we are hopeful
  • Vote Designation, Voting: Martin and Cameron are leads
    • Not everyone will adopt the app, but they are still entitled to designate easily
    • Alliance Members need to be in control of their own designation
    • Work with FO for a permanent solution once and for all
    • Clean and complete voting process to be completed
    • “Weighted votes” and nomination/designation
    • Updated voting landed June 1st
  • SoundersFC.com website and content cleanup: Stephanie is lead. Martin is lead on content landing on our website
    • Update all Alliance Council content on SoundersFC.com
      • Updates sent to Mikaela
      • Updates sent to Mikaela.
      • Honorary Chair: done, copied to our website (sent text about Coach Schmetzer to him just for kicks)
      • 10.17: email from Mikaela that she’s booked a meeting with web team following week: can they deliver our information in a more interesting way: more imagery, make us more accessible?
      • Conversations ongoing between MP and Martin to determine what SSFC should host and what can live on the AC’s page to drive more traffic to the AC’s website
  • Hosting MLS Cup: Stephanie is lead
    • Toronto FC fans were displaced and understandably frustrated.  It makes sense for Alliance Council to be involved in this conversation well in advance of any of our fans being disappointed to minimize any negative impact.
    • Owners and Front Office are very aware of the Alliance Council view here.
    • MLS owns the MLS Cup Match.
    • There will be impact to our members’ seating.  What impact? How many? Can they know prior to renewal? How to minimize?
  • Rebuild Our Website – ssfcalliancecouncil.com: Martin is lead

    • New look, new structure, new security
    • Adding section for stories (ours), making page easier to access sections
    • Update is complete: new look. Need more content written, photo requests have been made.
    • Bing Translator added
    • Video: Eurosport first, video recaps done.
    • Getting traffic with high quality editorials – Stars for All, Supporter Group Recognition etc.
    • Martin creating new emails for EC.
  • Constitution: Stephanie is lead, Martin is lead on ratification/voting
    • Meet w/ Glenn White the week of Jan 16th.  Good conversation with excellent suggestions already. Article 8: change ‘designated seating sections’ to “Front Office-designated seating sections.”  Other good suggestions for Article 6 Honorary Chairperson.  His suggestions were accepted during the first reading on 2.7.17
    • Redo of Article 8 passed unanimously at second reading 2.7.17
    • Remainder: Second reading of Article 6 – finish this up, Constitution can go out for ratification.
    • Next: work with MP and TG (who else?) to get the marketing and verbiage right on the announcement.
    • Last year’s was less than what we needed: could barely tell there was a Constitution Vote: line wasn’t even visible if viewed on a mobile device, verbiage said “nominate for Council” instead of anything about Constitution vote/ratification.
  • Bylaw 7 -Supporter Group Recognition:
    • Update: Martin Buckley is lead. Letter of introduction sent (Stephanie) to SG leadership, Taylor Graham, and Mikaela Purvis.
    • Martin met with all SGs on 2.11.17
    • SGs do NOT want Alliance Council out of the process. They still want us as the gatekeeper.  Per their request: annual check-in with SGs, let MLS/FO manage discipline. SG does not meet criteria or does not reply, they are not recognized.
    • Martin asked: is there anything to hold up the Constitution ratification: SG representatives replied, NO.
    • Bylaw 7: suggested changes being written by Martin now, it will not be eliminated.
    • Bylaw 7 changes: 3.7.17 meeting was first reading. 04.04.17 will be second reading.

Follow-Up team for each Strategy Session:

February

  • Food and Beverage: Martin, Cameron, Alex, Mike

March:

  • Marketing: Darla Langdon, Alex Eagleton

April:

  • Corporate Partnerships: Cameron Collins

May:

  • Community Input (Give Big / Rave Foundation): Darla Langdon

 June:

  • Jersey Concept and Retail Input

October & November

  • Annual Business Meeting Planning: Martin and Kristina

NEW: To-Do List: Stephanie is lead.

  • “Run the business”
    • General workflow list of tasks that must be completed this year.
    • Background: if you click on the link ‘visit this group’ at the bottom of any email that goes out to our mailing alias, you can read every single email that has been sent to the group since that alias was created. I was concerned about missing documents, so I (Stephanie) did that in the off-season between ’15 and ’16 and I did indeed find some. Part of how documents go missing is that a standard naming system wasn’t created, which is what we’re doing now (YYMMDD before the name of every document: 170207Agenda before we save it).  A standardized naming system makes it much easier to tell if an agenda is missing, for example.
  • Update Council Bios on SoundersFC.com : Dan has completed and turned into Sounders. One member did not turn in.  <- should we also build more detail on our own site?  Add as new members come to Council
    • Council Members and Bios will move to Alliance Council website April 2017 (Martin)
  • Election procedures: written and saved (Martin via Sturgis)
  • Secretary Monthly tasks/timeline: written and saved (Stephanie)
  • Invite all members to new storage drive, pin new drive to FB page (Stephanie)
  • Save all old documents as PDFs, migrate all old documents to new storage drive, rename to consistent naming system as needed.
    • Need: EC 1st meeting 2016, 2016 attendance final, 2017: update through March with minutes, agendas; 2017 roster, 2017 attendance to date
  • Procedure/expectations notebook:
    • include Secretary Monthly tasks/timeline,
    • EC election procedures (list format – Sturgis)
    • SSFC Media guide and expected due date
    • how to post to website, account logins and passwords
    • how to invite to Google mail list
    • How to be a Council Member orientation
    • reminders, contact list, lore.
    • Stephanie, Roberta, any others as they have things that should be included