SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
April 5, 2016 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (12 of 22): Cameron Collins, Paul Cox, Craig Dillon, Eric Flatness, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Angelica Germani, Jerry Neil, Jeff Randle, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, and Kristina Vaughn
Via telephone (4): Martin Buckley, Thom Kephart, Karl Picard, and Brendan Vaughn
Absent (6): Samuel Chesneau, Michael Dollard, Nick Gibson, Jeremy Monsivais, Brian Prouty, and Hans Ulland
Next meeting: Tuesday, May 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
- Call to order – Stephanie Steiner (Executive Committee President)
- Roll – Cameron Collins: 12 of 22 Present
- New Business – Kyle Sheldon, VP of Marketing & Al Raitt, Gameday Presentations
→ Kyle came from NASCAR, but before that, he was with DC United
→ Al came came from the LA Galaxy, has worked with the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks
→ Questions for Kyle and Al
How do they balance the avid fan who knows the brand intimately vs the casual fan which is where the growth will come from? This is a constant conversation that they have. 50% of new season ticket holders had a partial plan last year. 50% are just new. As a fan, youou shouldn’t be surprised by any of the traditions in the stadium. They ponder how they can communicate the experience to first time people who visit.
How do we get Sounders signage to be in the same abundance as Seahawks signage within the stadium? Kyle just did a walk-through with the Seahawks. There are inherent challenges to big signage changes because it was built for the Seahawks. How can the Sounders get it to make it feel more equitable? Make it feel like home? Some possible changes → soccer celebration in the NW concourse. Couple places not currently used where they could get a little more branding or use the space for Sounders. It would go a long way if the Public Stadium Authority could hear requests like this from Sounders fans, and the FO will figure out how best to address such contact.
What is happening with the Seahawks Ring of Honor and Scoreboard changes? The stadium is installing LED Screens around the entire thing. New boards in the corner
People seem to enjoy the big billboards around town. What sort of marketing campaigns to the Sounders have to attract new fans? More targeted and more focus is the trend of marketing. But Kyle believes that the outdoor high impact of a billboard could have a real effect. There is no way to decide the direct impact on ticket sales, but they think it does have one. The next big push will be around the 1st of june, as the midseason campaign and the full season packages come about
Why is it so loud in the Stadium before games? The sound is the same, there just isn’t enough bodies in the stadium to dampen the sound. Because of the speaker placement, some sections will get it louder more than others.
Is there a philosophy on replays? Why not show controversial calls? Mandated by league. There is concern on MLS and PRO to insight crowd with a replay. At Levis stadiums for 49ers games they get access in their app. MLS will not let it happen for out league. An example of what is done on a replay: Al speaking on Ty Mears tackle… He sees 8 different angles to decide whether to air it. In this instance it looked clean, so they decided to air it on the big screen once play had stopped.
How do we let the league know that we are upset about refereeing? The league monitors their social media, so something like #Geigered gets back to them. Keep telling the league. Keep telling the team. It will keep pressure on them.
What is the thought behind when the Digital media team is discussing rumors, when the club has no official opinion? This is the type of conversation they are having internally. They aren’t set on what it should be moving forward. But, they DO want the club to be the one stop shop for all the info on the club. They don’t want to rumor monger, but they do want to be able to walk down the hall and ask Garth questions.
March Minutes – Stephanie Steiner
Updates from Work Groups
Marketing – Stephanie Steiner
We are working on a longterm planning session for alliance goals and alliance growth. What kind of things, as an AC, would we like to see in terms of marketing? What would we like to pursue?
→ AC Signage, Flag on the field, Buttons or something like that, Booth on the concourses, Big Screen announcements, bio portions of the voting site have pictures too and can be editable, E-mails to include links to meeting recaps, Matchday email include our location if we have booths, beer of the match(?), Charitable contribution idea with Match Pass, Push notifications on our behalf, Consider printing a new banner because ours has the old logo.
→ In the app, with the twitter feed, can they pin stuff to the top? We are currently in the curated feed on the app.
→ The 90 before matches is booked all the time, but we’d love to use it for a recruiting meeting. We can use lofts in the stadium as well.
Bios – Dan Roe
Profiles are up and running. If you see any edits that need to be made, contact Mikaela directly
Scarf Group – Kristina Vaughn
Brainstorming to see if there is anything the AC wants to change from last year’s vote
Supporter Group Bylaw Group – Kristina Vaughn
They just got the information on the latest versions of text and will start working on it.
They want more people to write. Eric said he would write. Cameron said he will write as well.
Constitution/Bylaws – Stephanie Steiner & Cameron Collins
We went through and did a lot of work on the language. We will attack the easy ones all at once, and then take the major substantive ones on a one by one basis.
Adjourn – No other business presented, Motion to adjourn ten minutes early proposed and passed
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
March 1, 2016 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (15 of 23): Martin Buckley, Samuel Chesneau, Cameron Collins, Craig Dillon, Michael Dollard, Eric Flatness, Angelica Germani, Bill Kaczaraba, Thom Kephart, Roberta King, Jerry Neil, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, and Kristina Vaughn
Via telephone (1): Paul Cox
Absent (7): Nick Gibson, Brian Prouty, Jeremy Monsivais, Mark Nesteroff, Jeff Randle, Brendan Vaughn, and Hans Ulland
Next meeting: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 23 Present. 1 on Phone.
III. February Minutes – Stephanie Steiner
IV. New Business:
A. Hot Button Issues – Taylor Graham
→ Mobile App Ticketing: From the club’s perspective, it seemed to work well. The results were significantly positive in the numbers of season ticket members who used the app. Went well beyond their hopes.
· People were happy as a whole. A few issues raised, the council members suggested that people contact the club directly on specific issues (like an elderly person who didn’t have a phone).
· Not being able to print tickets except within 7 days of the match is to prevent the fraudulent ticketing.
· Main problem was people who printed their tickets and then tried to use the app, but one other issue raised was about designating and then people having separate device.
·The rep didn’t appear to be around. But there were only 8, so it could have been hard to see them. These reps will see email, get calls in real time, but texting won’t work.
· People didn’t know there wasn’t a prematch deal. Also tried to get the ticket scanned at concessions for the Matchpass points that no longer exist.
· Encourage people to download their tickets before they go to the gates.
·What are the next steps with the app? More games? More data being put in. How to make it more diverse? App currently available totally in Spanish.
→ Dynamic Pricing: Everything that has been done over the last season in terms of ticketing is to get the tickets in the hands of fans. Recalled over 600 tickets from brokers to sell directly to fans. Season tickets are not dynamically priced. Half season tickets are not dynamically priced. What they have seen is that when the price is the same for every game, brokers buy them and sell to fans. Prices are tiered only on a single match basis so that they can be directly in the hands of fans. Increases the value of being a season ticket member. They’ve done this for 3 years. It is just more responsive or fluid now than it has ever been.
· “Get in price” What is the cheapest price to get in to the game? They will always keep it at the $30 mark. They get data of Stubhub, Ticketmaster Exchange, all those things, including average price, etc.
· Questions from AC
i. Why is an ADA seat 37% more expensive than those right in front of it or behind it? They do not sell ADA seats until a number of days before the event as required by law. If this is happening, it needs to be fixed, and the club will make sure it is fixed. The club will always move people to the ADA seats when they need them without charging any more.
ii. Is there a new policy in place for price ceiling on what a ticket could be sold for in GA? ECS asked for it. Planned on following through on it, but didn’t come about until people had renewed season tickets already, so will not happen this year, but will happen next year so that rule can exist at the point of renewal.
→ Women’s Jerseys: They are not even close to authentic. How do we give feedback? Taylor said we can pass it on directly to Pro Shop and those that make decisions on ordering. We will have Doug Orweiler come in to discuss with us.
→ Alliance Council Voting: Main account holder voting currently live. Designee voting will go live on April 1.
V. Work Groups
→ GM Vote & Recall: Must work on where the various pieces already agreed upon go and propose charter changes to the team. Cameron, Stephanie, Martin
→ Annual Meeting: Kristina, Paul, Roberta, Cameron (and Jeff Randle?)
→ Constitution & Bylaws: Cameron & Stephanie (and Dan, Kristina, and Martin)
→ Member eligibility: Will be same as C&B and GM Vote
→ Supporter Group Bylaw 7: Cameron, Kristina, Karl, Martin
→ AC Visibility: Thom, Eric, Mike, Karl
→ Community Outreach Group: Bill, Sam, Thom
→ Scarf Vote: Karl, Cameron, Kristina, Jerry, Roberta
→ Kit: Jerry, Dan, Eric
→ Seating Expectations: Roberta
→ Women’s Attire: Roberta, Jerry
→Season Ticket Holder giveaways: Ang, Jerry
VI. Removing gender from the Constitution / Bylaws – Stephanie Steiner & Cameron Collins
Seattle is a very equality based city and the Sounders have taken a very equality based stance. The attendance bylaw is the only thing written with gender neutral language (“themselves”). “His or her” is no longer gender neutral. Question is are you in support of re-writing the entire document to be gender neutral? We want to get an okay before we even do the legwork. The AC would always be able to vote on it again. The entire Alliance would have to vote on it.
→ Vote taken. Unanimously passes.
VII. Council Member Profile Update – Dan Roe
All but one of the new people have turned theirs in. New extra question “Tell us about yourself” will be extended by one week. March 8th will be the last possible date for current council members to answer this. Will go up blank if not turned in.
VIII. Adjourn – Motion to adjourn passes
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
February 2, 2016 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (14 of 23): Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Craig Dillon, Michael Dollard, Bill Kaczaraba, Thom Kephart, Angelica Germani, Jeremy Monsivais, Jerry Neil, Mark Nesteroff, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Hans Ulland, and Kristina Vaughn
Via telephone (4): Roberta King, Brian Prouty, Jeff Randle, Brendan Vaughn
Absent (5): Samuel Chesneau, Paul Cox, Eric Flatness, Nick Gibson, Karl Picard
Next meeting: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
- Introduce Taylor Graham, Megan West, and Mikaela Purvis – Stephanie Steiner
- Roll – Angelica Germani: 14 of 23 Present
- Call to order – Stephanie Steiner (Executive Committee President)
- Taylor Graham – New App
- No Matchpass or paper tickets, mobile only
- Announcement next week, although already teased
- Sounders building their own new app – digital content, loyalty of ticketing, seat designation, voting, real time data and communication re: date/time changes (push notifications), matchday magazine in digital format, S2 incorporated and partner offers
- There was 100% attendance for playoffs using the Ticketmaster print option, so the club is confident that this will work.
- Mikaela Purvis – Service Teams
- Service teams Monday-Friday & matchdays
- Now neighborhood model based on where you sit – share rep with seat neighbors
- Present on matchday to help mediate issues
- Contact rep through app
- Block of neighborhood parties in the works
- Megan West – Matchpass
- Addressing feedback and issues
- Mobile Matchpass w/ no points going forward
- Free enter to win options
- Buy now option; every dollar goes to charity or enter to win
- Reciprocal arrangement w/ fan engagement
- Charity plan: 1/3 to Rave Foundation, 1/3 to Community Partners, 1/3 to AC Community Partners. Rotate community partners per match or periodically. Will report midseason how it goes.
- May add inventory to Matchpass as it becomes available (e.g. vacant suites). There will be a range of cost of items. The shift away from points program is something they believe other teams will do as well
- AC will work in partnership with TG, MP, MW on AC needs. Will engage in corporate partnerships (one hour focus group? Date/time to be announced)
- Taylor Graham – Voting
- Designation process → cannot collect new data until app is online. AC Voting needs STH and designee info. Primary account holder and assigned designees being able to vote. Info will be uploaded in to new app.
- Should we only allow primaries to vote at this point and not designees
- Designees are wiped if seat location is moved or no. of seats changes
- Must input different email access for each account to designate
- Approval of Minutes from November Meeting – Stephanie Steiner
Approved as drafted
- Old Business: Stephanie Steiner
Cameron and Stephanie went thru entire Constitution & Bylaws and formatted and fixed typos. Nothing substantive was changed. But, based upon the review, a lot of changes need to be made.
- New Business: Stephanie Steiner
- President – Stephanie Steiner nominated. Elected unopposed.
- Vice-President – Kristina Vaughan nominated. Elected unopposed.
- Secretary – Cameron Collins nominated. Elected unopposed.
- Executive Committee – Cameron Collins, Dan Roe, Martin Buckley, Bill Kaczaraba nominated for EC. CC elected as secretary of EC. MB elected at-large. DR and BK tied for final at-large position 7 votes to 7 votes. BK withdrew and DR elected at-large to EC.
- Work Groups: Stephanie Steiner
Two ways to create a workgroup → (I) AC can vote workgroup in to place and (ii) Executive Committee can do so (in years past, the executive committee has done it because we don’t always have quorum to do so at AC meetings)
- Existing Work Groups
- Council Bio
- GM Vote
- Member Eligibility – Do we want to charge people to join the Alliance? Purchasing Alliance Memberships? Is $125 too much or too little? What about S2 season ticket holders.
- Supporter Group recognition
- Alliance Council Visibility
- Charity Partnership – MB proposes renaming the charity group to Community Outreach. Seconded and passes unanimously.
- Scarf Vote
- Jock tag and Necktape (we are done thru 2017, next chance to be involved is 2018) – By unanimous vote group renamed to Kit
- Annual Meeting Questions* – does this need to be a workgroup or just take volunteers?
- End of Year Meeting
- Season Ticket Holder Giveaways
- Presentations from the FO
- Proposed Work Groups
- Constitution & Bylaws (passes unanimously)
- Budget (passes unanimously)
- Sitting vs. Standing (came from end of year questions) – After discussion, this group is proposed as Seating Expectations and passes unanimously. Will discussed all issues related to seating in stadium.
- Publishing vote results by council member: Stephanie Steiner
Some people have asked for transparency in terms of who is voting for what. They want to see how each councilmember voted (yes, no, abstain)… they also want to see more blog entries and to be heard from us giving the different sides of the issue
This is coming from STMs during the Sonar Feed interview that Stephanie did.
Discussion of pros versus cons of doing this.
- Con issues are privacy, harassment, that there is no why behind it as they won’t be able to hear our reasons, we are speaking as a council.
- Pros are transparency, the ability for people to respond to the way specific people vote,
Some discussion on 6.2 of the Constitution where it says President can only speak on behalf of the Council and how this rule only applyies to when the President speaks as the public face of the Council.
- what is the value to individuals outside this organizations? Discussion on the negatives outweighing the positives since we are not a governing body. Discussion on not allowing fellow councilmembers to be bullied if votes are public.
- Adjournment – Motion to adjourn passes