2014 will be my 5th year as a Sounders FC Season Ticket Holder/Alliance Member, and I'm the first to admit that I always look forward to receiving my annual "green boxes" in the mail each February.
Recently, several active SSFC fans/tweeters I follow raised valid questions about why, year after year, Sounders fans are simply given a special scarf, a refrigerator schedule and our MatchPass tickets (or paper tickets pre-2013).
These guys brought up good points about how they don't need a scarf and would rather see other things in the package. Personally, as an avid scarf collector, I enjoy a new scarf each year for the sole reason of having one to mark each year of my Season Ticket membership (that said, I almost never wear the STH scarf to games).
This made me want to do some digging. By way of the amazing world of reddit.com, I've seen the some of the packages other teams give to their Season Ticket Holders and can't help but find myself turning a different shade of green than my normal Rave color.
I'm not going to try to portray myself as an expert on the STH packages of other teams, but from what I've seen, it seems that the FO could be doing more for the largest STH base in MLS.
Some of the better ideas I've seen are free MLS Live subscriptions for all STHs from the Houston Dynamo (granted, MLS Live has its downfalls) as well as a sort of coupon book from FC Dallas (these included buy 1 get 1 free tickets and a coupon for free jersey personalization). Another great idea I've seen from (I think) Houston was the option for every STH to pick from a selection of benefits to customize their own STH package. I also heard a rumor about NYRB members getting a jacket or some article of clothing, but that's unconfirmed.
I want to make a couple of acknowledgments at this point. I understand that the sheer number of STHs the Sounders have actually limits what it can do for us (as every additional benefit carries more cost for us than another team). I also understand that our MatchPass program has significant benefits and the rewards will likely improve this year. I personally would rather have the MatchPass system than paper tickets, so that goes in the "pro" column for me.
But I also understand that, as one of the highest-earning teams in terms of revenue, we do have the capacity to make a few changes to further benefit the STHs. In fact, according to Empire of Soccer, we pay the second most per game for our season tickets.
I'd like to know what all of your thoughts are on this! Do you like the current package? Would you rather have something else instead of the scarf each year? What other benefits do you think would be feasible and beneficial?
Maybe if we get a few ideas we could bring them up to the Alliance Council for 2015.