NWSL 2013 – Analysis In 10 Parts PART 5 – Seattle Reign FC

Fifth in a series of 10 posts analyzing NWSL 2013 from my viewpoint.images

Preseason, Season Tickets, and Fan Engagement:

A preseason in Japan is pretty impressive and a shrewd move to allow the team to work out the kinks away from prying eyes. Kudos to SRFC for that.

I purchased 2 $234 Grandstand tickets online with no hassle whatsoever. Once again no perks for an out of town STH, but you should get the trend by now.

Seattle was fully engaged with fans from the announcement of the league, although they chose (and apparently still choose) to do it by way of Facebook. Allocations, drafts, coaches, uniforms, all info was updated in a fairly timely manner. They also engaged fans on Twitter and have a YouTube account.

Seattle got it right by encouraging and engaging with a supporter’s group, The Royal Guard.   Teams that currently do not have a supporter’s group should consider how Seattle encouraged their fans to start one.

Web Site and Web Stream:

Website? Not sure I would call it that, more of a place holder. About the only thing you could do there was buy tickets and it seems so far this year, it’s still the same.

The web stream by comparison was second best in the league, only behind PTFC. Production quality was excellent, it was reliable and the on-air talent was engaging and informed. The stream was provided by Bootstrapper Studios and SRFC should definitely renew THAT contract.

Kits and Venue:

Seattle did a lot of things right with their kit. It was just a standard navy blue NWSL Nike kit with the horizontal white chest stripe, but the logo and the decision to include it on the shorts as well as the top gave it a distinctive clean look. The basic kit was the same as SBFC, but it somehow looked better.

One thing SRFC did better than any other team was merchandise. From week one they had t-shirts for sale and came up big with their LGBT supporter’s T. Although you had to buy any team gear through the NWSL store, the T’s were a big hit with fans.

Starfire Stadium was the Reign’s home field and has a reputation as being a good venue. I’ve only seen it on web streams & TV, so I’ll leave any critique to someone who’s actually been there.

Final Observations:

The Seattle Reign are one of those teams that you just have to love to watch, even if you’re not a fan. They play well and are in every game. They may have been shortchanged by the whole team-building process, but they never used that as an excuse and never gave up in a single game. They have some big names, but every single player contributes. A definite team to watch in 2014.

As for the product off the field…

I’d like to see some improvements in 2014:

  • As for all teams, how about some STH perks for out of state purchasers?
  • Get a website, a real functioning, interactive site. Facebook is good, but really limits the interactions you can have with current and potential fans. I have sites I’ve “liked” and never gone to again. 10,000+ likes does not translate to 10,000+ interactions on a continuing basis.
  • Since the webstream is so good, consider doing it simultaneously in Spanish.

I am inspired by the culture Laura Harvey has started in the Reign camp. I hope it continues to build and I’m sure the payoff will come soon.

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