Meeting Recap: June 2017

Alliance Council Meeting 6/6/2017

By Karl Picard

We opened with a discussion with the front office around the 2019 jersey.  This allowed the AC to provide input but overall the club will provide the input back to the league and Adidas.  There are lots of areas for input as the process goes on but the input starts now.

We got to meet Jeff who just joined the AC.  Really wants to do what he can to improve the fan experience.  Deep family experience with soccer though both his personal play an experience as well as that with his kids.

Charitable contribution – there was a question in the survey and we are researching options for the Alliance.  We discussed a few options and more details on the decision should come soon.

Alliance Scarf Vote is coming soon – look for mail from the Club announcing dates and deadlines on submissions and voting.

10 years of the Alliance, this initiative is coming later this year.  We are kicking off working on some blog posts, video and other ideas and we are targeting one a month in the run up tonext season.  The goal is working on bringing awareness of the history of the Alliance Council and the Alliance as a whole.  We plan on having about 10 – 15 posts.

Constitution vote coming soon. Look for more updates and articles very soon.

If this is something that interests you, please join the Alliance council or provide your ideas in the comments below

Meeting Recap: May 2017

May 17th, 2017
By Alex Eagleton

Our May 2017 meeting kicked off with a presentation from the Rave Foundation presented by Kimberly Aigner (Director of Community Outreach), Ashley Fosberg (Executive Director); and Katie Pendleton (Community Outreach Coordinator).

As some of you may be aware, the Rave Foundation is the official charitable arm of the Sounders. We discussed what the foundation is all about and their mission in leading, serving, and investing in the community. Part of those initiatives was seen during the 5/10 match at Century Link Field as part of the Give Big day where the Rave Foundation raised $9926 towards building soccer fields in the community. Also part of Give Big, each player on the Sounders team, including staff and coaches selected a non-profit in an effort to raise funds for their favorite charities.

We also discussed some of the other programs under the Rave Foundation: GOALS for Art, ONE Ball, RAVE Fields, and FREE Play. Each initiative is designed to drive participation, creativity, being active, and community pride.

The presentation concluded with status on current and future projects, partnerships, and upcoming events. If you would like to learn more or donate, you can visit the Rave Foundation website.

After the presentation concluded, we discussed business from our previous meeting which included follow up from existing issues in regards to bags at the stadium. Darla provided follow up in regards to the matter and will continue to work on this matter.

The meeting concluded with updates on all of our initiatives for 2017. We assigned leaders for the GM Vote and had a discussion on updates regarding Stars for All, Visibility, Matchpass Rewards money for charity, The Save, etc.

Finally, the Alliance Council is looking for enthusiastic and motivated people to join the council. We have a lot of goals and initiatives that need people like you. If this sounds like you or you would like to learn more, please visit http://ssfcalliancecouncil.com/standing-for-alliance-council/. You can also reach out to us and learn more about the Alliance Council.

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.

 

Meeting Minutes: March 2017

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

March 7, 2017 – 7:00 PM –  The NINETY

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

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (3): Nick Biesold, Eric Flatness, and Roberta King.

I Call to order – Martin Buckley

II Roll – Cameron Collins: 13 of 16 Present

III. Marketing – Kyle Sheldon, VP of Marketing and Megan West, Senior Director of Marketing & Digital

 A. 2017 Look & Feel

 – Updated schedule posters will be in the market early next week and installed on the north side of the stadium. Going for a back to basics look and focusing on Rave green.

– Updated pole banners in the stadium. Similar look and feel as above to create consistency across marketing.

– Digital and social graphics: Trying to serve the fan and provide as much info as possible. Hired a new graphic designer who has motion and GIF experience, and they will utilize those skills in the coming year to stay up with social media trends. They now have a team of 3.

–   No new theme, but they will be doing 2-3 week campaigns that will focus on celebrating the championship.

– They want to make assets specific per channel with consistency across platform

B. Innovation: Marketing

 Creating digital content that focuses on why people should be at the match (championship banner raising for first match, etc.)

– Trying to optimize content for the channel it is on (Facebook vs Twitter vs Snapchat etc. / Desktop vs mobile).  Investing more time in to video production in general.

 C. Collaboration: Season Ticket Members Box and Golden Ticket

 – They worked across different departments to implement the campaign. Golden Ticket was with marketing, ticketing, players, and more. They will continue this trend in the future.

D. Innovation/Collaboration: Matchday Experience

 The Sounders can continue to do a better job in how to maximize participation of the fan. They will be providing maps with info on Matchday including 1) March to the Match, 2) The NINETY, 3) Soccer Celebration, and 4) The Pro Shop.

– They will be putting signs throughout the Pioneer Square area that provide information on where an event is and when it happens. There are 4 going out: two at the March, one at The NINETY, and one in North Plaza.

– The Sounders have done a complete reset of most of the marketing in the stadium. LED displays and jumbo display have updated graphics and images. They made it look more modern and more like their current brand. Similar lines, look and feel, and colors to all of the marketing materials.

– They are trying to bring home the giant trophy that was on the field prior to the MLS Cup. They have made the request to the league. Because it is 20+ feet tall, it is a challenge to find a place in the stadium. They hope to do it, but it is a matter of logistics. Potentially on the South side of the stadium.

– Going back to a print edition program on match day. Deeper storytelling showcasing players. It will be a monthly edition rather than match specific. It will be available digitally online and in the app. There will still be roster cards like the player posters from the end of last season.

– There will again be bag lockers with a $10 fee per object

– The Marketing Department will publish the kit being worn for the next match prior to Matchday. Will be at least the day before.

  E. Question From Alliance Council Members

→ Non-English Speaking market and marketing question from Martin Buckley. Everything they do right now is in English. In Seattle, the average age of the Latino population is 24, and the individuals tend to be second generation. most of the research shows that the preference of those individuals is to consume in English. They view doing marketing in other languages as for an international market. They are hoping to create some more content with the Spanish speaking players, but they are not at that point yet

Questions on archiving audio and having a match broadcast audio podcast (like they used to) and making the post-game show available as a podcast from Cameron Collins, Karl  Picard, and Nick Biela. The team will looking in to these ideas and will see what they can do about them.

→ Question about how much of the current marketing flows down to S2 from Martin Buckley. Some of it flows down. Similar types of coverage but not as comprehensive. It is a challenge to create enough content FOR S2. Sounders Community Trust are making one of their focuses this year highlighting players and stories from the team.

 IV. Constitution & Bylaws

 A. Article 6, Section 6.1: Honorary Chairman (Second Reading) – Stephanie Steiner

→ We already have the powers that are laid out in this new suggested language, but it clarifies the processes involved going forward.

Vote on Article 6, as amended, passes unanimously 13-0.

 B. Article 4, Section 4.2: General Meeting (First Reading) – Stephanie Steiner

This proposed amendment to Article 4 of the Alliance Council Constitution would change the language on when the Annual Business Meeting is held, as the old language is restrictive and makes it difficult to secure locations and promote attendance. The new language makes sure it remains at or near the end of the season in order for the meeting to continue to serve the purpose of being a recap of the previous year. This does not, however, allow the meeting to be moved to the beginning of the next season, as that would remove the power of our voice.

→ The language was amended upon presentation to the Alliance Council to read that the meeting shall take places within 8 weeks of the conclusion of regular season play. The reference to “regular season play” means that even if the MLS were to change it’s schedule significantly, the Article will still be accurate without having to change any language in the Constitution.

C. Bylaw 7: Supporter Group Recognition (First Reading) – Martin Buckley

→ All of the Supporter Groups were brought together to come up with a plan. The 2 SG points of emphasis were: (i) they saw the Alliance Council as an Independent entity from the Club who could run the process of approval of new SGs; and (ii) the previously created criteria were valid.

→ The de-recognition portion of the previous Bylaw was removed. What is in its place is that de-recognition by the Alliance Council can only take place through non-activity of an SG. There are already mechanisms in place at the Club and MLS level to punish Support Groups who do not follow the rules, so any Alliance Council involvement in that process would be redundant.

→ Section 7.1 was added to the Bylaw so that the definition of active and inactive is clear, and the SGs will follow this process for showing that they are active at the beginning of each season.

V. Stars for All

 A. Letter Sent to MLS: We received no response from the MLS to our letter the Executive Committee sent to them.

B. Solutions: We have the short-term solution, which allows stars to be affixed to replica jerseys, but we need to know the long-term solution. We have gone to Twitter and other social media platforms to state that we still need a long-term solution. There is no time table for when we will be given that solution. The language of the short-term solution makes clear that this was only done for 2017, and we may have to fight this battle all over again for 2018 with out silver star (and hopefully another gold star). We will be following up with the MLS on the long-term solutions.

C. Thank Yous: The Council was very appreciative of the work that the Club did to make the short-term solution happen. The Council particularly wanted to praise Doug Orweiler for his constant dedication to the club and being willing to stand up and fight for the fans.

VI. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

 

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.