Crew Union Offseason Thread: Meetings, Suggestion Box, Volunteering, etc.

Discussion in 'Columbus Supporters Clubs' started by CrewBeat, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. CrewBeat

    CrewBeat Be Massive My Friends

    Jul 27, 2004
    Manhattan
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Much like the club, Crew Supporters Union is already turning it's focus to next season. This thread is intended to serve as a means of dialogue and communication in the off season. I've already been contacted by several people through BS, email, facebook as well as talking to me in person asking me about next season over the last few weeks and that excitement is great. We want to hear all the ideas and suggestions you guys have.

    The leaders of Crew Union will be holding preliminary meetings next week so we want to hear from you.

    Things we'd like to hear from you:

    • Ideas about how to improve road trips, tailgating, viewing parties, etc.
    • Recruitment and member activities for the offseason
    • If you want to volunteer your time, skills, resources and/or contacts to help the group. (web development, web hosting, printing, screen-printing, sponsorship, etc.)
    • Merchandise suggestions/designs
    • What having a membership in Crew Union should get you
    • Chapters: want to start one in your city? how can we help chapters?
    • Anything else you would like addressed
    The purpose of this first meeting is to set a course for the offseason. Once we've done that we'll open up the meetings to more people, but for now it's important we get some feedback from all of you.

    Please try to keep discussion in this thread to a minimum and instead email me at walkon[at]crewunion.com with your ideas/suggestions/etc. If you post stuff here, people will get stuck in a rut discussing one topic.

    (Mods, please sticky this thread.)
     
  2. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hey 330 - lazy asses - get moving.


    :D
     
  3. bradd

    bradd Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm an IT Manager. I can handle pretty much anything web related. Not a programmer though but I do have access to a really cheap and good one. Hopefully we have a programmer around here somewhere.

    Any chances of getting an actual face to face meeting together at some point in the off season? Some times its difficult to effectively communicate across an internet message board.
     
  4. Hoolie McGee

    Hoolie McGee New Member

    May 17, 2008
    Massive, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have about 10 years of web experience, where I'd love to help. I'd also be willing to put together some viewing parties and such for the East Columbus/Licking County supporters.
     
  5. CrewBeat

    CrewBeat Be Massive My Friends

    Jul 27, 2004
    Manhattan
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks guys for the offers, I'll bring it up in my meeting tomorrow with kmmc & HHM.

    Bradd, we'll definitely be having meetings in the off season both open to everyone and targeted meetings such as those relating to the website.
     
  6. DrunkandDisorderly

    Mar 17, 2008
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    My company has some server space that could most likely be used for the website at a cheap rate, maybe even free. Just gotta run it by the boss.
     
  7. junior21

    junior21 New Member

    Apr 16, 2006
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    just keep us posted.
     
  8. CrewBeat

    CrewBeat Be Massive My Friends

    Jul 27, 2004
    Manhattan
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here is an abridged version of what was covered in our meeting Monday (please only post if it's constructive feedback, trying to avoid off-season thread syndrome):
    1. Front Office Topics
      1. Ticketing
        1. Season 101 Tickets
          • Fullseason price will be the northend rate before Feb 1st
          • Fullseason price will be the east sideline rate starting Feb 1st
          • Will try to get date moved back; Last year it was March 1st
          • CSU will consider buying a block of tickets to resell through the website.
      2. General Admission Policy
        • Currently policy is expected to be the same for 2009 season. First ten rows considered GA, but if someone wants their seat they get it.
        • Front office has expressed issue with removing seat numbers and lump summing everyone together, issue mostly has to do with fire code.
        • CSU suggests doing GA by section or row as a compromise.
    2. Non-Profit
      • Need to further evaluate whether it would be worthwhile to become a non-profit organization.
      • A professor at Wittenburg University in Springfield and long time season ticket holder is interested in using his class to offer essentially free consulting on how to improve the organization.
    3. Leadership Positions
      • More thought needed on all and whether they are needed
      1. Recruitment Chair
      2. Merchandise Chair
      3. Philanthropy Chair
      4. Road Trip Chair
    4. Group Finances Update
    5. Sponsors/Associations
      1. Bars for away watch party etc.
        • Will hold off until end of December at request of one of three bars interested in hosting our viewing parties
        • Interested Bars
          • Claddagh Irish Pub
          • Fado Irish Pub
          • Tommy Keegan’s
        • There are pluses and minuses to all three bars which need to be evaluated as well as whatever deals and other benefits that may be offered.
        • We will do a survey of active members who attend viewing parties as part of the decision making process.
      2. Other potential companies
        1. CD101
          • Share the same target demographic
          • Would try to mutually promote (examples)
            • CD101 has CSU member on to talk about weekend match and gives away comp tickets.
            • CD101 would come broadcast from a CSU tailgate before game
        2. Soccer Unlimited (or similar stores)
          • part of looking for a shirt printer
        3. Local Brewery/Distributor
          • Ideally would provide discounted beer for tailgates
          • Budweiser (preferred as a league sponsor)
          • Move on to major distributors and local brewers that would be interested
            • Miller, Coors
            • Elevator, Columbus Brewing Company, Barley’s
          • Use local contacts through bars to distributers
    6. Website/Webhosting
      1. Will delve into this topic more in the near future
    7. Merchandise Ideas
      1. Scarves
        1. US-Mexico/Columbus Brigade
        2. Double
          • SIDE1: M A S S I V E (on bars)
          • SIDE2: Something about winning the double
        3. T-Shirts
          • CSU logo
          • The North Corner
            • BG13 has given us the design to sell through our store
        4. Union Style Jackets
    8. US National Team/Columbus Brigade
      1. Need to organize for potential US-Mexico match Febuary 11th
      2. Will talk to Ryan Smith regarding seating configuration for supporters
      3. Need to work with bars to discuss potential parties Tuesday and pre and post match Wednesday
        • Claddagh and O’Shaughnessy’s are currently the only viable candidates.
    9. Chapters
      1. What can we do for the chapters?
        1. Mailing list for each chapter through the Crew Union website site that leaders from each chapter would be able to use to promote events
        2. Webpage available on site for chapters to use for posting information
        3. Help to organize Carpool/Bus (Louisville>Cincinnati>Columbus and Indi>Dayton>Columbus) as well as communication between chapters
        4. Work with the front office to help promote out-of-town viewing parties through targeted mailings and getting bars added to MLS Pubs page on mlsnet.com for working with the chapters.
      2. 513: Cincinnati
        1. Contacts: Josiah Kaiser & Criss Titschinger as well as a number of others that expressed interest in starting a chapter
        2. Bar: Molly Malone's in Newport or another they talked to.
          • Molly Malone’s brought up a large contingent for West Ham match and is a good soccer bar in the area apparently
          • See great opportunity to establish a relationship with both the Cincy and Louisville area Molly Malone’s. Provides opportunity to coordinate a bus trip from Louisville location to Newport to Columbus for match(es)
      3. 502: Louisville
        1. Bar: Molly Malone’s (same operator as Cinci area location)
      4. 937: Dayton
        1. Latest from Jericho's post on BigSoccer
        2. Looking to Setup away watch bar
        3. Organize Car Pools
        4. "Bring a Friend" initiative
    10. Philanthropy
      1. Connor Senn Match
        • End of April
        • Last year we did a team signed scarf, what can we do this year?
      2. Crew 5k
        • Last year it was August 23rd
      3. Adopt-a-highway
        • Hudson Street looked into this last year.
        • Could get Crew players to help and hype the cleanups to local media.
      4. Crawl for Cancer
        • Last year it was April 12th
        • $350 for team of 10
    Next Steps
    1. Next meeting tentatively to be in two weeks open to more people with a general meeting open to all to follow in early January
    2. Would like to hold a preseason summit as Mark McCullers has offered to attend
     
  9. Hoolie McGee

    Hoolie McGee New Member

    May 17, 2008
    Massive, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sounds good. In all honesty, I'm more than willing to step up in any area. Just keep me up to date. I'll private message you with contact info.
     
  10. jkaiser28

    jkaiser28 New Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Cincinnati
    I work for FanMail Marketing, we power email lists and newsletters and such for the music and entertainment industry. Getting the mailing lists together would be a breeze. PM sent.
     
  11. ZipSix

    ZipSix BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 20, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just as an FYI - Mike Saad and I have been in talks about developing/funding Crew Supporters Union: East Coast Elite as umbrella organization for the Crew fans living in between DC and Boston, including NY and soon Philly, (including neredowells in Central CT) for the purpose of pooling resources amongst our relatively small numbers and coordinating hosting efforts, travel, and ticket purchases for Crew fans making the trip to see games at RFK, Gillette, RB Arena and Philly.

    I invite all Crew fans living in the I-95 corridor to send me a PM so we can have a more in depth discussion.
     
  12. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Someone did Sam's Army Columbus scarves for the original US-Mexico game. I'd hope that someone could re-start this rolling ball.

    As for away games: Fado's has great atmosphere, but not a whole lot of seats, and they're not exactly the most comfortable. The walls have been known to get in the way as well (In this regard, Keegan's is great, as it's really just one huge room.) OTOH, Keegan's isn't really a good place to go if you want food.

    Might I suggest we try to incorporate the "official" viewing parties into ours as well by inviting that viewing party to ours for the first game? Did someone say we had to select one, and only one, pub to watch games at? I liked the rotation idea.

    Acutally, i'm fairly sure the first road game interferes with March Madness. Would there be any interest in attempting to plan something in the Huntington Club? I'm sure we couldn't get rip-roaring drunk, but we could claim that we were at the stadium for the first game of the season. It may also be a good way to get some PR for the section leading up to the home opener. I wouldn't mind some more integration with the "regular fans." I'd also like to see more stuff planned with La Turbina. ISTM that they show up for games, then simply disappear.


    Honestly, i'm a fan of "why fix something that's not broken" and in this regard, I think O'Shaughnessy's is a fine choice of US-Mexico pub. The Revs fans like the place, and there is certainly more than enough options to go around. OTOH, if the other games that day are on after the US game, and Claddaugh is willing to put them on for us as "background entertainment", then that makes them a viable option.


    They can't remove the numbers from the seats, but could they print "General Admission" on the actual tickets, or does this go back to the fire code? And why could they sell General Admission proper in Ohio Stadium, but not in their own?

    I think we need to work on the "problem" of overcrowding the first few rows, and I feel confident that leadership will take necessary steps. The way I see it, if we don't overcrowd the first few rows, then those bleachers have a lower chance of breaking.

    Finally, I heard a conversation today where someone asked why the "Bar scarf" wasn't available for sale in the FO. They weren't aware that it was a supporters thing, but is there any chance we could stock the official shop with some? I foresee two possible problems. One is that we'd have to notify buyers that we'd get the money and not the FO, and the other being that maybe there's some sort of contract between the FO and various other groups that only official gear be sold there.

    It may not be able to be done, but it certainly would sell a lot more scarves.
     
  13. CrewBeat

    CrewBeat Be Massive My Friends

    Jul 27, 2004
    Manhattan
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We're planning on it. We'll either do 2 scarves (one for the match and one for columbus brigade) unless the demand isn't there and we'll combine the ideas.

    The "official" (club) viewing parties will be at one of the three bars we're looking at for next year and not a BW3's or Brewsky's so other sports being on (like the NCAA tourny) won't be a problem like they have been in the past. Things are still very up in the air on our end as one of the bars has asked us to hold off on a decision. Personally, I'm not against the multiple bars we did this past season and understand the argument for dedicating ourselves to one pub.

    We've opened discussions with both Claddagh and OS. I think we'll end up doing something at one Tuesday and something the other Wednesday as a compromise, but that's just an idea at this point.

    Something to do with percentage of seats that can be GA by fire code. so 1000 GA seats out of 21K is much higher percentage than 1000 GA seats out of 100K.

    I'm open to suggestions

    We've thrown out the idea of selling them for $20 (to not undercut the scarves the crew sell) and put the additional $5 towards Crew Soccer Foundation. We wouldn't sell them in the store, but at the top of the section most likely if it were to happen. Dave Stephany, PR guy and CSF head, seems to like the idea, but there are a lot of hurdles to get through.

    They will (most likely) be available for purchase at the "official" bar, so people could get them that way also.
     
  14. fidlerre

    fidlerre Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    Central Ohio
    Trust me when I say this, demand will be there...especially for a match one from people all over the country - so be prepared when you order from SS and get enough - possibly even do an online pre-order from folks. We probably sold a few hundred (I'd have to look to be certain) last time, and the proceeds went to pay for the huge pregame tailgate.
     
  15. CrewCanon

    CrewCanon Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    Egypt
    I am always up for helping in any way I can, just PM, call or Facebook me. I can help with shirt and scarf designs and merchandising items too.

    I will be trying to get a pass for the US-Mexico game, so the fan sections will be covered too.
     
  16. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Everything sounds good. The compromise of Tuesday bar and Wednesday bar is a good idea, especially with the NHL game on Tuesday night. I'm sure there'll be a lot more people in town on Wednesday night as opposed to Tuesday night, so maybe we look at the "surrounding scene" for overflow on Wednesday night.

    As for the overcrowding issues, the only suggestions I have right now are as follows:
    Split the Nordecke into two sections. Do we really have enough people to do this and not split it up "too much?" There's also the issue of what section would start the chants. And, would the CFO want to have some of us go to another corner? I'm guessing not. ISTM that there could be a "potential issue" of having some of us over by the tunnel and the visiting team's access to/from the field. Plus, would anyone view this as being "kicked out" of the section??

    That's why I think the much better idea is opening up 102. This was done at the last game, right? Could we commandeer section 102 and adopt it as Nordecke? When that gets full, it's 103 and so forth.

    I'm only guessing that a lot of people WANT to be down that close for various reasons, but opening another section would certainly help overcrowding, plus we'd seem like a bigger crowd with more room in between people.

    It seems like expanding south is a much better idea with fewer negatives.

    Having a "Nordecke merchandise" table in the stadium is an excellent idea. Open it up 45 minutes before kickoff, at halftime, and as long as needed after the game...or something like that.
     
  17. CrewCanon

    CrewCanon Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    Egypt
    I think that would only be a good idea if you go with an overall umbrella to the section as the money would go to the umbrella not any one group. I think many people that don't sit in the section would like to add ANY Crew related stuff to their closets, cars, homes and themselves.
     
  18. Legion04

    Legion04 Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    Arlington, Virginia
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think you could sell general Nordecke merchandise...such as the proposed "Massive" scarf and shirts with "North Corner" or "Nordecke" on it. Additionally, you could have HSH, CSU, and LTA specific items too, I don't think that doing that would be a problem.
     
  19. CrewQT

    CrewQT New Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Columbus Til I Die!!
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I did quite a bit of large scale painting in college (scenic painting for theatre and such). If anyone needs painters to help paint a banner please PM me, I would love to help out!:D
     
  20. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    General rule of thumb: If it has a specific organization (LT, HSH, CU) mentioned on it, then monies raised from that purchase would go to the individual group, but any "General Nordecke" merchandise sold would benefit the section.

    If this is what you're getting at, then I agree.

    If "specific item sales" would benefit things like tailgates, banners, etc, then what would "generic item sales" benefit? Roadtrips?

    I think it should work both ways. I don't want to seem greedy, but if I buy a HSH t-shirt, then should that benefit LT? I think HSH should reap the benefits of a HSH t-shirt sale, but if I buy a "generic" Crew bar scarf, then no one group should benefit entirely from that sale.

    Maybe on down the road, work out a system where if I buy a "generic Nordecke" item through a specific supporter's group, then that SG gets credit for the sale and gets some sort of commission for making the sale, but I think we may be a bit far off from this happening.
     
  21. HardHatMike

    HardHatMike DOOOOOOOOM!

    Traktor Nebraska
    Aug 31, 2005
    Tumon Bay, Guam
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If only one group is footing the bill for that "generic" item, that group should reap the reward as well. No risk, no reward. If other groups want to help with the production costs, I've got no problem sharing the profits with them.


    *personal opinion only and not indicative of CSU policy
     
  22. HSH_b

    HSH_b New Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Cbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just bumping this seeing as the last post was in December and people always seem to have complaints about how the groups are run yet this thread hasn't had much of an impact to this point in the off season.

    Anyone have any new ideas pertaining to any of the following:

    Fundraisers to participate in.
    Unique activities for tailgating to increase pregaming attendance.
    Membership and merchandise ideas.
    Way's to reach out to away supporters.
    Supporter vs Supporter soccer matches.
    Ways to rep soccer and increase awareness of the Crew in Columbus and outlying areas


    Just trying to get the brains brewing again...:eek:
     
  23. DrunkandDisorderly

    Mar 17, 2008
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    How bout a Crew Union or Nordeke sponsored charity event? An idea I had is a Crew Union or Nordeke team in the Race for the Cure. We could all wear our Crew stuff for it to increase our community recognization and show that we aren't all a bunch of belligerant drunks.
     
  24. HSH_b

    HSH_b New Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Cbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Any details on that event, although I have heard of it, I'm not familiar with the when's and where's of it.
     
  25. DrunkandDisorderly

    Mar 17, 2008
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    This year it takes place in the morning on May 16th. It's held downtown and last year had around 40,000 people participate. You can go here for more details: http://www.komencolumbus.org/

    It may be worth inquiring with the front office to see if they would be willing to print up some special pink Crew t shirts or giving a donation.
     

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