Differences between CCSC supporters groups?

Discussion in 'Columbus Supporters Clubs' started by Kyle Crew, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Kyle Crew

    Kyle Crew Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 23, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I feel like a bit of a noob posting this, but whatever. My wife and I sit in section 103 this season. Next year we plan on getting season tix for the Nordecke. She totally gets into the chants and atmosphere at the game and is looking forward to sitting in the Nordecke next season just as much as I am.

    So I kinda have two general questions:

    1) What, if any, differences are there between HSH, Crew Union, Murderers Row, etc? I know about HSH and Hendocs and CU and 4th st blah blah blah. It's just hard to find info about anything really since all the websites are a wee bit outta date.

    2) We're gonna have a blast yelling and screaming and chanting from the Nordecke next year, but is it worth it to join a SG? We usually don't tailgate (and by that I mean pretty much don't ever really). Is there any benefit to joining?
     
  2. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you're "old-school" enough to remember V-Army, CSU basically "grew out" of V-Army when they moved to 103. One season, it was V-Army in 137. The next season saw "Crew Supporters Union: Local 103." For a time in the Nordecke, the "103" was substituted with a member's area code. Now, not so much.

    So yeah, the members are generally long-time Crew fans and tend to skew a little bit older, although all ages are welcome.

    It's my understanding that HSH is more 20s and 30s age group and may be more "extreme" with the chant language, favor for smoke bombs, etc.

    I believe Yellow Nation Army is located at the bottom of 139/140. A lot of their members are known for the yellow body suits. They have a themed tailgate every week and set up an actual bar in the mega-tailgate area. Some of their themes might be "Under the Sea" or "Hollywood Movies" or whatever. In other words, the themes might be soccer-related, or they might be totally random.

    If you buy your tickets through CSU, I believe they're approximately $306 and include a membership package. The membership package typically includes a membership card (discount at 4th Street whenever they're open, although their happy hour prices are usually better than the membership discounts, so those may take precedent), either a scarf or t-shirt depending on what their leadership decides, a cup good for free beer at select tailgates and other stuff. You also get a member's-only ticket exchange and maybe other random stuff. The membership package is also available separately for a reasonable fee and can be bought any time during the season. You also get discounts on additional Nordecke tickets and maybe even discounts/first priority on road trips, although this might have ceased.

    I believe the other groups don't really push memberships as much, although I've seen HSH and YNA shirts, so you'd have to check with them.

    As far as individual tickets go, CSU can reserve them via email or sell via the website for pickup at the tailgates. From all I hear, HSH doesn't reserve tickets, but sells first-come, first-serve at tailgates.

    Your ticket for the Nordecke is good in any section (plus the stage, obviously), on a first-come, first-serve basis. Show it every time you need access and at any entrance. My ticket section says 101, but I've never been stopped at 139 or 141 or whatever.
     
    Kyle Crew repped this.
  3. Kyle Crew

    Kyle Crew Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 23, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks for the info. Any more info or opinions would be most welcome. Do any of the SG's do anything outside gamedays?
     
  4. Smithsoccer1721

    Smithsoccer1721 Member+

    Feb 16, 2007
    Middle of the Table
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I did CSU and then moved out of the North End so I could watch and enjoy the game more. My experience is only with CSU so I can't say what the others are like but they were really friendly at the tailgates. It was a little hard communicating with them if you had questions or ideas. Depending on what you want to "get out" of this I guess would help guide your decisions. I basically used my membership for the swag and that is really it.
     
  5. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ouch.
     
  6. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Have you looked into Z Side Columbus?
     
    Robbiegoal repped this.
  7. Kyle Crew

    Kyle Crew Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 23, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, well... the last HSH update was April. I could've swore CSU's site was similar, but maybe I just somehow missed the home page with a weekly blog entry. Doesn't make the SG's seem very active when the sites are kinda underwhelming. Not sure if that's just a 'there isn't enough web traffic to justify the work' thing or a 'don't really care' thing. Not trying to bash either group, just wish there was more info.

    No, what's that?
     
  8. Kyle Crew

    Kyle Crew Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 23, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would like to get involved with stuff. I'd love to help with tifos and whatnot, stuff outside of just gamedays in the Nordecke, but I'm not sure what the SG's do, can't find info as I mentioned in the post above about their respective sites.
     
  9. stanger

    stanger BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 29, 2008
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #tifosweat
     
    Kyle Crew repped this.
  10. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wonder if it's more a "social media and email newsletters" instead of "updating a website" thing.

    Z-Side Columbus was circa Ohio Stadium or early CCS. BA may remember more, but I think it was started by the same guy who started Gusset Hunters USA, speaking of old-school groups.

    As stanger said, follow the hashtag #TifoSweat for more info on that stuff. It's not an official group, but rather a collection of people from all walks of life who want to create tifo for US and Crew games. They also did two tifo which appeared this past Saturday on ESPN GameDay.
     
  11. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And what's up with Murderers Row? Are they confused Yankees fans?

    Also Einheit still has a sign up behind the Nordecke. Unfortunately, you don't strike me as a lowlife lying thief who steals people's money under false pretenses so you might not fit in.
     
  12. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    I think i finally want to weigh in on this thread.

    Supporter groups are nothing more than a gaggle of friends who a while ago decided to organize themselves into factions to help identify themselves. Everyone wants to be a part of a group.

    At the core. Each group represents something different. I wont devolve into trying to explain the nuance and politics of each subset.

    I can however answer for my involvement in the founding of Crew Union. I count the original members of HSH as good friends of mine, people like Blake, LaMacchia, Winland, Grant but I felt a closer connection to Kevin, Ben and Clem over at CSU. We started the group focused on 3 things. Gameday Tailgates. Community interaction during the week. Stadium Inclusion.
    If I recall correctly the mission statement reads something like "a group of passionate fans striving to foster growth and enjoyment of soccer and a love for our city". (paraphrased)

    The first members were our best friends with whom we consistently spent all our time with. Meeting for happy hours, crew events and game day. Most of the time you could find 2 or 3 of us at Claddagh in german village every day of the week. During the week it was less about soccer and more about the camaraderie that you share with someone you have so much in common with.

    Something clicked. Each of us had so much passion our everyday conversation ended with an invitation to come watch a game. Just for the atmosphere. Word of mouth works. Add a beer and a live sporting event...well it is a recipe for success. So without much fanfare the group exploded. The front office recognized the work we were doing so they continued to increase our tickets we had available. We focused on season tickets, then added membership packages (things like a scarf), working with Claddagh at the time we negotiated discounts. Other people wanted to be involved. We were able to use our direction to orchestrate Homage as a sponsor. That piece of business is what ultimately lead to the next couple of paragraphs.

    By the time we realized what we had, the group had grown fairly large for a grassroots movement...or so we thought.
    The leadership talked it through and decided to register as a non-profit. This was huge for us. It allowed for a lot of flexibility with the community and focused our direction. As a consequence we had to change our thinking somewhat. It became a business almost. Not that we worried about our incoming cash but we worried about what we were going to do with it. Regular donations of soccer supplies, subsidizing bus trips, catered tailgates, team sponsorship, swag, tifo...well lets be real honest. Pretty much anything SG related post 2008 has had money from CSU go into it. Not a few bucks. Thousands. We partnered with 4th st Patio. The owners bent over backwards to earn our trust. I really respect those guys. They lost thousands of dollars to promote our group, we can never repay them fully. But it helps that because of that investment we have been able to host things like Crewsmas Eve and USA Mexico parties. You have been to those. You know what it is like.

    All the above happened at the same time the Homage shirt "Columbus Til I Die" was all over the city. Not just soccer fans but those people we were talking about in our mission statement. The success of Homage has continued over the past 8 seasons obviously.
    So people bought a season ticket.. then they bought a tshirt. They tailgated pregame. Victory juice postgame. The group continues to grow. CSU now purchases the entire section 101 as season tickets. Consider that.

    So that is a brief history of Crew Union. Lots of details missed I am sure.

    Section 101. Generally its a little more laid back. A little more interested in the play on the field. A little less involved in "ruckus". Little bit quieter than other Nordecke sections. You can bring your kid into the top part of the section...or the bottom if you have to. For the most part that is accurate.
    The expectation is that by purchasing a ticket from Crew Union you know how to conduct yourself. We police our own and most of the time dont have any problems. (exceptions to every rule obviously)

    For me? I hope people enter our area. Lose their voice. Raise a toast to the win and then go find a friend for the next game. It worked for the past 8 years. Here is my hope for 80 more.

    Ask me specific questions if you have them I am will try to help.
     
  13. Smithsoccer1721

    Smithsoccer1721 Member+

    Feb 16, 2007
    Middle of the Table
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great info. Didn't know a lot about how CU got started. I was a member but got fed up with the party in the stands vibe. Which I don't think was promoted by CU but the culture that developed in the Nordecke was not soccer first for portions of the fans.

    I quoted the above section because I am not sure that this is the understood expectations when buying tickets. Hard to know if people are buying from CU or the other supporters groups.

    I don't envy those working in leadership capacities as its a fine line.
     
  14. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    to be honest...this is probably the hardest question I will have to answer for.

    The fact is Crew Union sells a ton of tickets at this point. More than all the other groups combined (if my math is correct)

    We have a good system in place and even better data collection on our members /purchasers. We usually know who is buying and how many and how often and if their mother nancy is a nice woman who loves tea on tuesdays.
    Here is our failing and it happens more than I would like to admit

    Bob is a CSU member. He asks for 2 tickets to the game for his friend. They come to a game and love it. Next game one signs up for a crew union membership!! Same day another guy buys a guest ticket at the guest price.
    All of them enter from 101 but being General Admission they disperse to where ever in the Nordecke.

    A ruckus starts.

    Factually I have 3 guys who can stand any where in the corner and act however they will. I have sold them a ticket. The likelihood is that Bob is not the culprit simply because "joining a group" actually invests the member into something. Not kidding. This is marketing/politics 102. If you can convince someone to perform a call to action that person will feel an obligation to behave differently, ie protect the group you are a part of. The Crew do it all the time to us we just dont think about it as analytically. The new CU member probably doesnt make a scene because of that same mentality AND he doesnt want to embarrass his friend. Of course, he might not understand the culture and maybe it was a great party last time around so he acts out. It could happen but only a little more likely than Bob. Less likely than the next guy. The last person in my scenario is in the corner but he hasnt joined an SG. Thats fine, he doesnt have to, but statistically speaking this person will be the most likely of the 3 to act inappropriately. He (or she ) feels less obligation and no responsibility except to themselves.

    We sold three tickets. Honest final opinion...we probably lost 2 of 3 of those people.

    I can say the overwhelming majority of people who have bought a ticket from CSU stand /stay in 101. I am also confident that most of the antics that go on do not originate from our area BUT and damn i hate saying this...It should be our responsibility to be more influential on the atmosphere in the other sections. Though like I said above...We try to protect the group we are a part of.


    Come monday morning. The call from the FO comes. Hey we had an issue so and so from last night who had a section 101 ticket. ...then the fight begins on a new front which i wont waste your time but it is uphill, both ways. There are ALWAYS exceptions and circumstances where any one can have a mistake happen.

    I was almost escorted out on Sunday for screaming Maruffo is a racist and only loves mexicans. the latino security guard wasnt so happy with that one and fired back "its only a game". I um..took exception to that. thankfully the other security guards recognized the situation and move him away and gave me a second chance.

    TL:DR
    Each group sells tickets to ALL the section. It is tough to foster a good culture when the accountability is difficult to pinpoint. So much diversity has deluded the core which used to be a strong asset.
     
    odave and Kyle Crew repped this.
  15. Smithsoccer1721

    Smithsoccer1721 Member+

    Feb 16, 2007
    Middle of the Table
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You guys have a hard job but I would think the largest group would set the stage for the rest. Plus I am giving advice with no intention or ability to do anything.
     
  16. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    FWIW...Maybe I'm totally wrong here, but... It's my understanding that Crew Union is the only group which really emphasizes memberships. With a membership, you get an everyday (not just game days) discount at 4th Street and a lot of cool schwag which changes on a yearly basis. Other groups might sell memberships, but with CSU, it's like "Hey, if you buy a membership, we'll really make you feel included. But hey, you're gonna come to a ton of games, right? Buy tickets through us and we'll just GIVE you the dang membership. For FREE."

    I'm sure a lot of people buy memberships in multiple groups. No one says you can't. I casually wonder how many unique people have CSU memberships without having a membership in another group.
     
  17. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew

    Good question Peter which I dont know the answer. There used to be a lot of crossover between each group.


    Herding Cats.

    I cant say CSU is the biggest though. HSH did a terrific job branding their name and culture from the early days. In fact, when I talk to new people and tell them where I sit..they inevitably still say "oh you're one of the Hooligans" o_O

    I wont slate that group because they REALLY should be commended for a lot of the work. I will say once the core leadership moved on there was a gap in the connection the members felt. This may ultimately have led to the step back we have seen. Their footprint is still large. People still identify with the group and with a reaffirmation of core values we can make the corner a shiny beacon of crew glory!!!
     
    stanger repped this.
  18. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

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

    It is absolutely AMAZING how HSH went from their original 5-10 or so and next thing I know, they seem to be 200 and now, they seem to be 800 or so. Maybe it's their banner placement/size or something different, but yeah, the entire corner seems to be the "hooligan section" unless they lump everyone under a generic term of "hooligans" and not HSH.

    If you haven't done it, dig up some of the early, early pictures from pre-2005 or so, the earlier the better. It almost reminds me of some band that tried to go big, but signed a crappy record deal, then all of a sudden, went from playing tiny clubs and bars and couldn't even charge a $5 cover to playing arenas and stadiums and charging $200 for front-row seats in the matter of maybe 1-2 years.

    And yeah, I think HSH and the stage had a lot to do with it, although I'm as flabbergasted as anyone else is.
     
  19. Kyle Crew

    Kyle Crew Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 23, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, i wonder how many of those people are 'dedicated' though. By that i mean, at a minimum, take part in chants and actually know them. I've run into 3 or 4 people during this past season who sit in the nordecke when they go to games, but whenever i asked them about our last game or two, they didnt have a single clue what i was talking about. Hendocs is near campus isnt it (never been)? I really hope they dont just have a signup sheet that they let random people sign and give $25 so that they can tell their friends they are a 'real soccer hooligan'.
     
    THOMA GOL repped this.
  20. THOMA GOL

    THOMA GOL BigSoccer Supporter

    Yokohama F-Marinos
    Jul 16, 1999
    Paradise of the Pacific
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There's always a good core (the first say 5 rows) of HSH but those in the uppers? Some may think those folks are just there for the t-shirts.
     
  21. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There's certainly a few hardcores near the top, but yeah, the general practice is that the hardcores and crazies tend to congregate near the corner flag, bottom of 101/141 area.
     
  22. Hamburgler03

    Hamburgler03 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wait, there are tshirts up there?
     
  23. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Judging by what I see sometimes, there are fewer shirts in the lower portions of the section than in the upper ones.
     
  24. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Well as we get older I find that the core is making its way to the top...which gives a good view of the game and the stands but leaves *ahem* the younger lambs to the wolves.
     
    THOMA GOL repped this.
  25. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We have had a membership(s) with Crew Union since the first year and have never had one with any other group. Why would I get one in another group?
     

Share This Page