2003 Pre-Season Supporters Meeting With Sounders Front
Here's what transpired at the Supporters meeting with the Front
Office (GM Adrian Hanauer and Communications/Media director Bart Wiley)
Scarves -- We were pleasantly surprised to find out
that the club designed and sent in an order for scarves using the "old
school" logo and colors, and scarves will be available for purchase at
the end of March 2003, directly from the club, or at the stadium on match
days. See Scarves
page for the design and other details.
Kits -- The red is officially OUT!!! The home kits will be all
white, with the away strip being all green. The club signed a 3 year kit
agreement with Nike -- this year's kits will not be customized due to the
lack of production time before the season starts. The 2003 kits will be a
variation of the Nike "Italia" jersey. Next year's should be
customized and will look more "retro" in all likelihood. The
women's team will have the same color scheme, but not the Italia jersey.
Merchandising -- as evidenced by the logo and kit
changes, the "old school" logo is in and the logo from previous
A-League seasons is on the way out. Although the orca will stay in some form
via different styled T-shirts and other merchandise. Over time, the
"branding" will become more consistent and "tighter",
currently most of it is done in-house hence some of the inconsistencies of
the "brand". The Sounders are looking to find a "sweet
spot" involving the old school look with a modern twist to it.
Marketing -- While more aimed at the next season, the
Sounders plan on proposing/doing more joint marketing schemes with the
Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team, such as offering ticket exchanges to the
other's games when buying a season or flex pass ticket for the one. Also in
the works are proposals to work with each other's registered email lists.
The supporters group proposed getting in touch with the T-birds booster club
and working on a sort of alliance with them, as the hockey off-season falls
neatly into the Sounders season and vice versa.
Radio/Webcasts -- All home and away matches will be
broadcast over the air and via webcasts by KKNW-AM. This is the same station
that carries Seattle Thunderbirds
junior hockey, and the T-birds announcer will also be doing the broadcasts
for the Sounders. In addition, expect to see color commentators such as Alan
Hinton and Jimmy Gabriel for the home matches. Links to the webcast should
be on both the KKNW site and the Sounders site, which is also going to be
redone before the season starts.
Stadium/Security -- We asked that a few rows of
"buffer" space in section 113 be left behind us, both to avoid the
problem of more casual fans demanding we sit down, and to give the
supporters section room to grow as the season goes on. Currently we have the
first three rows reserved for us.
Also, we asked, and the club agreed, to make the supporters
section more visible at the ticket booths as a way to grow the section, via
signage that indicates section 113 is a supporters section with all the
usual activities that go on there. Basically the club were extremely willing
to do whatever we thought would help market and grow the group.
for security, although the Seahawks Stadium regulations ban flag poles and the
like, we were assured that the front office would do whatever it takes to get
flags on poles, drums, etc in the stadium -- possibly having the Sounders
check them in as part of "team equipment" if necessary.
bombs, flares and the like we didn't pursue, as the FieldTurf surface would be
damaged by these if thrown on the pitch. It's too risky at this point to risk
messing up what progress we're making now to lose it if some idiot brings in
and tosses one of these on the pitch.
Matchday/Stadium -- The club are going to work with
the surrounding pubs (Slugger's, FX McRory's, among others) to have
prominent Sounders signs displayed outside the pubs on match day. We
mentioned it would be a good idea to have a scarf or two to display inside
the pub (and others like the Attic, George & Dragon, etc) for additional
advertising, and the club said they'd get on that.
In the future, the club will look into having neon signs with
sponsors for the pubs as additional ways to "penetrate" the pubs.
There will be a beer garden inside the North end plaza (Hawks'
Nest end) open for an hour prior to match time. The club suggested we might
want to use this area as a gathering place and as a way to recruit people into
the supporters section. There will be picnic tables and other areas to sit.
BBQ and other fare will be available as well.
FX McRory's will have post-match parties set up as well.
|MLS -- As part of the Brian Ching transfer, a match v. San Jose
Earthquakes is in the pipeline, which would be held at Seahawks Stadium,
likely in June on a weeknight when the Mariners are not playing. The clubs
currently are seeking a mutually agreeable date, one which would at least
seen Landon Donovan able to be in town, if not playing in the match.|
|Bus trips -- Due to the scheduling of away matches in Portland and
Vancouver, the only date that makes immediate sense to run a bus is the
August 9 match at Portland. We suggested that the bus marketing start a
couple months in advance so that people can plan for it. The club agreed
that would be a good idea. For the other away matches, we're going to assume
that we'll arrange carpools/rides ourselves, although it's not totally out
of the question that one of the Vancouver matches might have one. Playoff
matches would likely see a bus set up, as with last year.|
|Squad -- The player roster should look much like last year, with
the exceptions being Brian Ching (San Jose) and Nate Daligcon (retiring) not
being back. Ex-Sounder and MLS player Sean Henderson may return this season.
Jayson Boyce, Preston Burpo, among others have not yet agreed to terms.|
One tidbit dropped was that an outside midfield signing from MLS is
imminent, though we're not at liberty to identify the specific player as yet.
The Sounders have three players from this month's open trials invited back to
training camp, and another tryout later this month will look at local college
players and the odd A-League/MLS veteran -- though this latter type of player
is likely to not be subject to the tryouts, rather would be signed directly.
Players cut by MLS teams that could be signed would likely come from San Jose,
Los Angeles, Colorado, Kansas City, or Chicago.
As for other signings, it looks like the "areas of need" are for
an additional defender or two for flexibility to play a 4-4-2 on the wider
Seahawks Stadium pitch, and for playoff matches in which more "wide
open" tactics aren't called for.
|Miscellaneous -- The Sounders are interested in having a supporter
who has Web design skills to help out on the redesign of the club's site at www.seattlesounders.net.|
ManUre's match v. Celtic in July has sold out, as has the Philadelphia
match on the tour. The match in LA v. Club America had sold only about 10K,
and the match in Giants Stadium had sold about 45K.
The Sounders plan to have a booth up at US-Japan and will have volunteers
to distribute pocket schedules and other literature. However, other joint
marketing of the match doesn't appear to be in the cards.
If anyone has music-business/production connections, the Sounders are
looking for someone to help in transferring an old cassette recording of the
NASL club's "entrance music" to digitally enhanced CD -- basically a
better copy of what they have currently.