2017 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: Dec 2017

Alliance Council Meeting 12/5/2017

By Karl Picard

The December meeting was based around Alliance Council elections.

First order of business was introduction to Peter Buck is a new member here for the first time.  We also have new members Todd, Lisa, and Molly for the 2018 season who were part of a previous meeting.

After introductions, we moved into the voting for the committee, there were 5 positions President, VP, Secretary, and 2 open positions.  We worked our way through each position with candidates giving their justification and qualifications, then questions from the group, and ending with each member voting on each position.  Ultimately resulting in group electing a person to hold each position.

  • President -> Martin (2 ran)
  • VP -> Stephanie (unopposed)
  • Secretary -> Cameron (2 ran)
  • At Large #1 -> Todd (4 ran)
  • At Large #2 -> Karl (3 ran)

After the elections, we moved onto returning member intros for those that didn’t run for an executive committee position.

We had a recap of the Annual Business meeting from November.  Looking into the results of the meeting and what went well, what to work on, and how we can improve for next year.  There was a financial offset based on the meet and greet at the fan fest and the annual meeting.  Numbers back from the meeting, 100 people from the match pass lottery were there in person, for steaming (2 streams running for the meeting via Facebook and YouTube) over 26k click throughs and an estimated 5k unique people reach both live and in the few days following the meeting.  We estimate we reach 3x more than fans previous years and that doesn’t include the blog interaction.  We did note the concerns around not attending the event, how can we have a larger attendance and a good quality stream.  Discussed where we can improve and make it better for the fans next year.  This covered how to better get follow-up questions, to getting better answers from the front office, to how the Alliance Council can better represent the fans.

We wrapped with a discussion around how to have better communications for Alliance Council members.  A survey with options will be sent to the group.  We also noted the January meeting will note be Jan 2nd and we are looking into Jan 9th.

2017 Meeting Recaps Meetings

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

2017 Meeting Recaps Meetings

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 You can also reach out to us and learn more about the Alliance Council.

2017 Meeting Recaps Meetings

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.


2017 Meeting Recaps Meetings

Video recap: April 2017

March 8, 2017

By Martin Buckley and Stephanie Steiner

The second in our video recap series – just over three minutes giving a quick update on what happened at the Alliance Council meeting last night.

For completeness – the link to the Supporter Group Recognition work referred to in the video is here.

2017 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: March 2017

photo by Karl Picard

March 25th, 2017

by Karl Picard

Our meeting was March 7th, and included nearly an hour of conversation with the Sounders’ marketing team. The first half of the meeting was a presentation and Q&A with Vice President of Marketing, Kyle Sheldon. They reviewed the look and feel of the schedule posters and banners for the stadium.  They have put an emphasis on the Rave Green – back to basics for marketing.  One other thing they have prioritized is standardizing things across all elements from banners to graphics and between different channels from web to mobile to different social platforms to provide a better experience to the consumer.  Their focus is on local growth but thinking globally as well.  We reviewed some of the work around the season ticket box and delivery including the Golden ticket promotion.

There will be a few new things, too. They will be deploying signs on game day to help fans experience all the game day events and activities. There is now a printed match day program (also available digitally) with a focus on the storytelling: March has articles on both The Save and Brian Schmetzer.  The last thing we covered was the surprise: getting the giant MLS Cup, the very one from the match in Toronto, for the season.  At the time of the meeting they were still working out the details but as many of you saw it is currently sitting behind section 124.  Darla Langdon and Alex Eagleton are the follow-up team for marketing.

After a quick break, we moved on to a review of Articles including the Honorary Chair secondary reading.  The article was voted on and passed unanimously.  Next up was Article 4 and dealing with when the Annual Business Meeting can be held.  The requested change is to ensure we can review the regular season that has just concluded rather than have it scheduled in the beginning of the season or some other time.  We discussed the verbiage around how we deal with any changes to the MLS schedule.  The discussion went into the ability of the Council to put on the Business Meeting without the help of the Sounders front office.  Final was the updates to Bylaw 7 (Supporter Group) which was discussed with 4 different representatives from Supporter Groups (changes stemmed from the proposed updates to the constitution in October).

We discussed steps to take should Stars for All not receive full support from the league.  Luckily, we got a temporary solution shortly after the last meeting.  We will continue to work for a resolution where all teams going forward will have #StarsForAll.

That’s all from March.  There is also the video recap with Martin and Cameron posted.  Sorry for the delay in getting this version out, life got in the way this month.


2017 Meeting Recaps Meetings

Video recap: March 2017

March 8, 2017

By Martin Buckley

We’re trying something new – so take a look – and leave us comments.

Here’s a 3 minute recap of the March 2017 Alliance Council meeting. Short and to the point. Also if you have not seen the “Let’s Start Climbing” video featuring Jim Whittaker that we mention – it’s well worth a view.

Note: I’ll be switching out the video camera and hopefully have more consistent focus and lighting for next month.

2017 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: February 2017

Meeting Recap February 7th, 2017


Photos by Stephanie Steiner

February 16, 2017

By Stephanie Steiner

clip_image004We kicked off our meeting with a survey of Council members (private voting). The Rave Foundation is being supported and honored by glassybaby. The Rave Foundation will have its own glassybaby (shown to the left) and we are one of the groups asked to weigh in on what we think it should be called. We turned in our surveys and quickly moved along to the food and beverage portion of the meeting.

The February 7th meeting was the first ever Strategy Session. Strategy Sessions was a new way of working with the Club that was adopted last year. When the agenda was sent out for the meeting, volunteers were sought to be on the food and beverage follow up team. That team is: Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Alex Eagleton, and Mike Dollard.

Food and beverage at Century Link Field is undergoing an exciting transition. First and Goal Hospitality is the new entity making all of the choices with regard to food and beverages at Century Link Field. We met with Dawn Wheeler, Ashli Brown, and Michael Johnson. They’re diving into explorations regarding beer and cider selections (and how they should be different on tap vs. in 16 oz. cans), how large corporate partnerships can be respected while allowing the differences in Seahawks fans and Sounders fans to be honored, and allowing the quality and alcohol content desires to be met for two distinct fan bases: whereas Sounders fans tend to lean more toward craft beer choices, Seahawks fans tend to choose beers with lower alcohol content to help them through a game that is hours longer.

We had an extensive conversation about bringing in quality food choices that might be considered “alternative” in other markets but are fairly mainstream here in Seattle: fresh food instead of being high fat/fried, vegetarian/vegan choices, gluten free, dairy free, and so on. There are so many options available, that we shouldn’t be settling for food that tastes terrible or is poorly prepared. We learned that much of the struggle in the past has come from inadequate training, which is being addressed.

Martin’s son, Hugo, a ten-year-old vegetarian submitted his well-written thoughts on Century Link’s food and beverage for us to consider. I love receiving correspondence from “junior counsel.”

Below are some images of the samples the food and beverage team brought with them for us to taste. We’re not showing these to you to make you envious, make you hungry, or make you want to join the Alliance Council – those are simply beneficial side effects of these images.


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The team at First and Goal Hospitality, Left to Right: Michael Johnson, Ashli Brown, and Dawn Wheeler.

After the Strategy Session, we moved into our own business. First up: Article 8, Supporter Groups. The first reading of the article change was read in November of last year. This was the second reading with an amendment to change the line “designated seating sections” for clarification. It now reads, “Front Office-designated seating sections.” The amendment and the Article were passed unanimously.

We had the first reading of some changes (for clarity) to Article 6 regarding Honorary Chairperson. It’s fairly easy to keep things going when people continue to serve on Council. But when there are large changes to Council, it can be confusing as to what can or cannot be done. So we elected to add clarifying language to Article 6 about the position of Honorary Chairperson. We’re now calling it Honorary Chairperson(s) to make it obvious that more than one person can hold the title at the same time – this gives a Council the ability to grant a youth team the honor if they chose to do so. We declared that if there ever were to be responsibilities of the role, they’d be managed in the bylaws – this does two things: it shows that there aren’t any responsibilities now, and tells people where they’d find them if there ever are any. Lastly, we declared how we’ll name the Honorary Chairperson(s) or rescind the honor should that ever be necessary. None of these things are changes to the process that we follow, they’re just now spelled out so that everyone understands that this is what to do in the future.

We addressed our list of initiatives for 2017 (it’s a lot), and got names attached to each item on the list. We’ll post those separately so that we can update the post and add to it. Those of us who have already started on our projects updated the group.

We finished with open conversation which was mostly about stars on jerseys – at the time, it wasn’t nearly as heated as it has become: MLS had not yet issued the cease and desist to the partner store which was stitching stars on replica jerseys.

Our next Strategy Session will be at our March meeting and we’ll meet with the Marketing team.