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A RAVE Reality #1: Foundation

So, I've been marinating on something over the last few years – man, there's a whirlwind of thoughts up here! (points to head)

Are you ready to embark on this mental rollercoaster with me? It might take me a few posts to piece together everything so hold onto your scarves; this might get windy.

Shared Responsibilities and Communication

Seattle Sounders fans treasure Coach Schmetzer's deep-rooted commitment to the club. However, when results don't go as expected, it's vital to remember that responsibility should not fall on his shoulders alone. Management/ownership plays an equally crucial role and, while transparency is appreciated, there are challenges tied to divulging too much information publicly. Striking the right balance in communication is an art, and sometimes, the club's strategy might necessitate discretion.

In the quest for transparency, where should the club draw the line to maintain its strategic advantages and negotiation capabilities?

Academy's Double-Edged Sword

The Sounders' academy is integral to the club's identity, underscoring a commitment to nurturing homegrown talent and cementing a strong sense of community. Watching academy players rise through the ranks gives both players and fans a shared sense of pride and belonging. However, an over-reliance on academy talent might inadvertently be impacting the depth and competitiveness of the first-team. The club's dedication to promoting from within could be seen as a cost-saving measure, but it raises the question of whether this strategy is striking the right balance between community engagement and on-field success.

Is there a trade-off between fostering community pride through academy promotion and achieving first-team excellence, and where does financial strategy fit into this equation?

Misunderstandings and the Bigger Picture

Misunderstandings, especially in a vibrant community like the Sounders', can sometimes lead to narratives that don't fully capture the actual situation. Behind-the-scenes interactions, especially between the Sounders' staff, media, and supporters groups, often remain private and can be misinterpreted when not in full view. In such scenarios, fostering an open dialogue becomes paramount. A fanbase that operates on incomplete or misunderstood information can inadvertently harm both the morale and financial health of the club.

How can we all foster an environment of trust and understanding, ensuring that the narrative remains balanced and aligned with the true spirit of the Sounders' community?

Strain in Relationships and the Need for Proactivity

When a team's winning streak starts to wane, underlying tensions often rise to the surface. Relationships, previously harmonious, can become strained, revealing cracks that might have been overlooked during the good times. It's not uncommon for teams and their supporters to feel the strain, especially if there's a perceived disconnect between them. Do we feel the media bias at times, the lack of stadium atmosphere and attendance post covid, the frayed relationship between Sounders staff and supporters groups, and the many frustrations that the active online crowd has that go unproperly addressed? Proactively nurturing these relationships, even during a team's peak performance, ensures that when challenging times arrive, the bonds remain strong. Open dialogue and mutual respect are key. Waiting until challenges arise to address these tensions can sometimes be too late.

How can organizations and groups preemptively strengthen relationships to weather potential storms, and why is it so crucial to lay this groundwork before challenges emerge?

The Fans' Ripple Effect

This club has the capacity to be colossal. Both local and remote prospective fans are eager to be part of a riveting community shaped by player insights, fervent fan involvement, authentic storytelling, dynamic promotions, and standout merchandise. There's a considerable financial reservoir for the club to tap into, and it's initiated by not just winning on the pitch, but by pushing captivating narratives off it, and setting a gold standard that others can't keep up with. I know many local high level players who over the last year have spent $50 to go to one game and that's it! No merch buys and no local or tv media viewing. MLS is going to grow exponentially over the next few years and do the Sounders want to slowly fall to the background? NO. They have motivation. The Sounders have shown they are capable of pioneering unique jerseys and launching iconic apparel, stepping outside of the box. The Sounders staff and management want to push the envelope and want to build Seattle, we must be their supporting voice. They've got skills, video/social/apparel, that team is elite!

The Sounders have claimed many victories on the field, yet, when confronted with adversity—like the stark possibility of missing the playoffs for a second year after such a strong previous decade—the true test of belief arises. At this crossroad, what's our choice? Do we succumb to desolation, or do we rally, choosing to infuse joy, cultivate connections, champion inclusivity, and instigate genuine communication? And when talking about genuine dialogue, it's not just empty rhetoric. It's about tangible actions, about construction and creation.

Passive fans are not what the Sounders legacy deserves. There's a world where a prospering club equates to enhanced funds for recruiting talent and pioneering projects. If the team vouches for a brand, say Therabody, it's our role to champion it. Controversies, like the debate surrounding the Providence jersey sponsorship, highlight the chasm between club decisions and fan sentiments. They should never have felt the need to take that deal. Now more than ever, it's time to bridge that gap, align our visions, and craft a future that resonates with our shared dreams.

Given the potential influence fans wield, how can they transform their love for the Sounders into impactful actions that resonate both on and off the pitch?

Looking Ahead with Optimism

In the face of present-day challenges, faith in the Sounders' potential remains steadfast. It might be timely for all stakeholders to engage in introspection. Reflecting on past glories and drawing lessons from recent challenges can help the club envision a future that aligns with both its rich legacy and its ambitious aspirations.

How does our past influence our vision for the future, and can introspection serve as a bridge between the two?

Hey, it's Denny here breaking form for a sec:

Look, all of this boils down to a few key things. We're in this together, right? Sounders' ups and downs, they're on all of us.

I feel like talking about the hard topics is where the magic happens. Remember our roots, dream about where we're headed, but let's also roll up our sleeves and get stuff done through real friendship. Fans, staff, everyone – we crave that real-deal transparency.

Next time I'll try and dive into the waters of "what" and "how-to" of all this. Stay tuned. And Sounders? We've got your back, always.🟢🔵

Is it too mighty to say this can be the real heart of Seattle and the tech community can be the money?

Join our cult. This is going to take years.


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