Portland Media

Discussion in 'Portland Thorns FC' started by Cliveworshipper, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good interview of Alex on Fox 12 Oregon tonight (online feed, obviously). Great player and seems like a delightful personality.
     
  2. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As MRAD12 said,the Thorns crowd seems quite knowledgeable about the game and the players. Just curious, does anyone sense where they get most of their information?

    1) being on cliveworshipper and cpthomas' email lists?
    2) Pilot nation fan forum?
    3) the Oregonian?
    4) some other soccer blog - Stumptown Footy for example?
    5) Timbers fan forums or websites?
    6) lurking at BigSoccer ?(somehow doubt it)
    7) Equalizer or NWSL News?

    Can't be the official NWSL website by the way. That's still pretty primitive.

    *
    add 8) hanging around the craft beer taps at the stadium with Cliveworshipper? :)
     
  3. aperfectring

    aperfectring Member+

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hillsboro, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Most of the Timbers outlets have included some information about the Thorns as well.

    In order of how much information specific to the Thorns I have gotten, here are my sources:
    1) Stumptown Footy has brought on a dedicated Thorns writer, and a few of the other authors also contribute information.
    2) "Talk Timbers" on 750 AM is a weekly 2 hour long (minus commercials of course) radio show about the Timbers. They typically include an interview with someone involved with the Thorns. This interview usually lasts about 10 minutes of the broadcast. This radio show is released as a podcast on the Timbers website as well.
    3) The Thorns website has followed the model that the Timbers website has in providing good interviews and articles on the team.
    4) The Rose City Riveters website also includes some good information about the team, usually in match reports.

    I was already somewhat knowledgeable on soccer from following other teams. I find that the Oregonian could be a good resource for more casual fans, but that the info they have seems adequately replicated elsewhere.
     
    kolabear repped this.
  4. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What about the UP factor? MRAD12 commented that people knew where players went to college, etc. How big do you think the overlap is between Pilots fans and Thorns? Third of the crowd? Half the crowd? Any guesses?
     
  5. aperfectring

    aperfectring Member+

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hillsboro, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Others probably do, but I do not. I don't have any ties whatsoever to the Pilots fans, and only had minimal interaction with those around me during the first game. I'm not a native of the area, so don't have the long ties with soccer support in the area. The only bit of help I might provide is that I may be a relatively typical crossover fan from Timbers, but I can't even really fully claim that, since I don't have really any connections (beyond Big Soccer) with any other Thorns fans.
     
  6. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    Hard numbers would be pretty hard to establish. It was a question people around me were asking each other as part of introductions.

    I'd guess a good percentage have been to a UP game and a good percentage were Timbers crossovers. There is overlap, and some weren't regular attendees of either group. A smaller, though significant percentage were probably followers of the other college teams in the NW. And there was some evidence that youth clubs were represented, but I really didn't see the crowd as a bunch of preteens like you used to see when Mia played or even the last USWNT match in Portland. It was an older crowd. The Riveters was mostly young adults. There were folks from Seattle.

    I also think some folks are trying out the Thorns because they can't get into Timbers games and it's cheaper. The waiting list for Timbers season tickets is 4-6 years. At $242 for the season, mine were the most expensive in the joint except for a few field level seats. The same seats cost $1,550 for the Timbers season. That's an entertainment bargain.

    But even a third being called UP fans seems high. Average attendance at a UP game has been around 3400 on season ticket sales of somewhere in the 2000 range. Top Ranked teams showing up boosts attendance to the 5k sellout range, but it is a small school, and that's almost double undergrad resident enrollment. They would all have to have showed up to hit the Third mark, but who knows? This game was an event and soccer fans here flock to them. The only other pro teams in town are the Blazers and the Timbers.

    As to where people get their information, local print and tv news does actually report on games. Every Sports segment did a piece on the game.
    There used to be a site called Soccercityusa that had a lot of the forum action in town for many years going back to the USL Timbers days. But it was a one man shop and I think interest outgrew it. March 1 the site more or less went into hibernation. The above list is a pretty good representation.
     
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  7. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well you do now, hanging around these here parts at BigSoccer. :)
     
  8. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One thing I get from the replies (cliveworshipper, aperfectring) is the significant crossover interest from the Timbers, the men's team. That didn't happen in LA with the Sol and Galaxy, nor did it happen, I've been told, with other attempted crossover marketing (like DC United / Washington Freedom doubleheaders).

    It sounds like the Timbers website makes a much bigger effort than the Galaxy ever did, tying into the Thorns website and putting up stories and including stories in the podcasts as mentioned above. But I have to say it was my impression that there was much less interest in the first place for the women's team from Galaxy fans than there is from Timbers fans.

    One other thing that struck me was the waiting list for Timbers season tickets. I wasn't aware of that. That's quite incredible and a pretty unique situation, I believe, in MLS. That represents a pent-up demand for seeing soccer and possibly contributes to an interest in the women's team. Then, when someone looks at the difference in season ticket prices, as Cliveworshipper mentioned, it does look quite the entertainment value and perhaps encourages people to give it a try.
     
  9. LeftCoastLondoner

    Oct 29, 2012
    Long Beach, CA
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    I think all that is very true, kola. At the opening game, there were a lot of fans in Timbers green dotted around the stadium. Someone like me, who is not particularly interested in the Timbers (or MLS, in general), is a definite aberration. :)
     
  10. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Of course what I'm trying to glean is what lessons, if any, can be learned and applied to other teams around the league, both for building attendance and for building the knowledgeable sort of audience that makes for a real sports atmosphere. Yet I can't deny that in many ways Portland is a unique case whose lessons can't be easily transferred to other cities and teams.

     
  11. Title9Baby

    Title9Baby New Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    My take is 1/4 of the fans were UP fans, 1/4 were women's general sports fans, 1/4 were Timber's crossovers, and 1/4 were "event" folks driven by an unique event. The Rose City Riveters were certainly the drivers for the TA influence and will be needed to sustain the momentum. I just hope that these Rose City Riverters will be a bit more family friendly than the TA folks. We need all of these groups to feel comfortable if we wish the NWSL to succeed.
     
  12. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006


    I think to look at what will make the thorns successful, you have to look at what made the Timbers successful.

    while making the event family friendly has its place, Paulson recognized early that that isn't what necessarily builds a devoted fan base. Even before the Timbers went MLS, there were cries from some quarters for a more family oriented atmosphere in the TA.

    Paulson tended to defend the Army and told those who didn't want to see a little rowdiness and occasional swearing to make sure they got seats elsewhere in the stadium. Then he went to the Army and after talks they decided to police themselves, which they have done pretty well. When they wanted to do something not normally seen in stadiums here, ( smoke bombs, etc. ) some method to let them do it while keeping the venue safe was found. Other things weren't ( vuvuzuelas being the most annoying thing that was banned).

    My guess is this will carry over to the Riveters, although I do see them as a tad more refined, at least that first game.
     
  13. aperfectring

    aperfectring Member+

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hillsboro, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    A good write-up by the Riveters on this: http://byanyothername.org/all-the-f-words/

    Basically, it says a devoted supporters group should be the core of your fanbase. These are the people who will come out rain or shine, good team or bad, year in, year out. If you please these fans, they will make the games an event which other people want to attend. You cannot completely neglect the families, but families do not regularly attend and spend money on the team. I encourage people to read it, because it is a much better written argument than I can form.
     
  14. LeftCoastLondoner

    Oct 29, 2012
    Long Beach, CA
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Completely agree. Above all, I want to see the fans show passion for the game (within reasonable boundaries, of course). That passion attracts others, and (ultimately) makes it a must-see event, rather than a choice between shopping, watching TV, and going to see the soccer game.

    Thank g-d the vuvuzuelas were banned, though.
     
  15. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006

    Amen. The Army didn't even want them.
     
  16. Title9Baby

    Title9Baby New Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Though I respect BOAN, realize that they are pushing a message and not serving as a forum for discussion. They do not want to hear from families that do not think "passion" involves dissing the ref, cursing, or shouting ugly remarks to opponents. They actually removed several comments from this post suggesting that passion involves "respect" for the game and seeing the beauty in sports- not as an excuse to express hostile anger. Again, I very much respect what they are attempting to do and think they are mainly making the right steps, but they do need to understand that ALL fans for the Thorns are needed and passion does not involve hooligan behavior.
     
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  17. aperfectring

    aperfectring Member+

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hillsboro, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    You may or may not be intending it to come off this way, but it seems like you are equating "dissing the ref, cursing, or shouting ugly remarks to opponents" with "hooligan behavior". While those actions are not something that most would want their children replicating, they are nowhere near the same thing as the organized violence that was the main problem with hooliganism.

    If you have concerns about conduct within the Rose City Riveters, then I suggest you talk with a ticket representative. The FO can only act based on the knowledge they have, and if the FO thinks that the RCR's actions are hurting their business, then they will work with the RCR to try and fix that.

    I agree that it will be very hard for the Thorns to survive without a broad fanbase. However, I do feel that the Thorns cannot survive without a healthy supporters section. The post I mentioned, and the article/blog that linked to, both do a good job of explaining the reasons I feel the way I do.
     
  18. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006

    The Timbers season ticket situation is even worse ( or better) than I originally thought. The Timbers limit season ticket sales right now to 15,250.
    The rest are held out for fans of other teams by agreement with the league, and to give them something to market to non season ticket holders. Each week there are deals they offer to current ticket holders and waiting list folks. About a thousand go on sale to the general public.

    There is an article in the Oregonian business section today that gives some astonishing figures. The season ticket waiting list is now at 7,500, or half again as many tickets as exist, a list for which you pay $50 to get on.
    The article says that the season ticket retention rate this year was 97%. A little math tells me that's 457 seats That became available, or that if you got on the list today, you would wait 16 years for tickets.( obviously, not everyone on the waiting list actually buys tickets when their number comes up)

    I think that would explain why the Thorns have become a marketing priority with the Peregrine sales staff.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks...tland_timbers_dont_take_sel.html#incart_river
     
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  19. Title9Baby

    Title9Baby New Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Thanks for your noticing the varying degrees of "Hooliganism". In my mind, unruly and disrespectful behavior is a mild form of hooliganism. The organized violent form is the more extreme, sometimes more evolved expression of hooliganism. No, I do not see the RCR expressing the these violent forms, but nor do I wish for my children to be exposed to ugly expressions of "passion" for the game. The game is beautiful; let us show respect and class in how our Portland fans can be smart, respectful and incredibly passionate.

    I completely agree with absolutely needing the RCR to survive and thrive. YET, we gotta be inclusive for all who want to enjoy the games.
     
  20. raymondleone

    raymondleone Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  21. raymondleone

    raymondleone Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  22. cachundo

    cachundo Katie Meyer Fan Club

    Feb 8, 2002
    Stanford
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    article about Emilee [Shim] O'Neil and Oregon native Maddie Thompson [link]
     
  23. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
  24. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006

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