I want to take a second or 10 minutes to elaborate on the need for the CCSA, what informed this decision, and what generally motivates my decision making other than a drunken vision of utopian supporters culture.
Over the years there have been multiple structures to this supporters group. There is an in depth account of the evolution of the Cauldron and its history on the website. Structurally the group has been in the form of LLC’s and Non Profits. In the current structure the Cauldron is an LLC. We resurrected the use of the Cauldron organization prior to entering Sporting Park in order to unify all of the smaller supporter groups. Having one umbrella organization allows us to support those efforts in order to continue growing. The incredible growth of this organization is not because the effort of any one person. It is each of the individual supporter groups pulling in their friends, family or random people they saw playing soccer in a park. The diversity of these groups, their individual style of support, and united passion has turned this into something that amazes everyone involved and has created one of the best game day environments in the league. What you have built at Sporting Park has even impressed many that have come from overseas from the biggest clubs in the world.
Why do we need a Non-Profit?
This answer is simple. We operate as a Non-Profit and therefore we need to have the tax protection to support that model. This also requires us to be more structured organizationally.
Why do we need more structured leadership?
No one person is able to manage all the aspects of this organization and no one person should have to be responsible for everything. The strength of this group is and always will be having hundreds of people that step up to meet the challenges in front of us. The strength of those group empowering those that have crazy ideas that some think can’t happen but somehow we pull off. Back to the question; having more people involved in the operations of the organization. Having more people able to work on different aspects of our organization and its goals is a good and necessary thing.
What will the leadership structure be?
There will be a board of directors that will be annually elected by the general membership. The board of directors will “Hire” or “Appoint” a CEO or more appropriately an official Cauldron Bitch. That person will deal with the day to day operations. They will be responsible for maintaining and cultivating a good working relationship with the Sporting front office, keeping the Board informed on upcoming projects, and generally act as the ringmaster in our crazy circus.
Who will be in this leadership brain trust?
In order to facilitate this structure in year one; the board will be made up of a representative or two from each supporters group along with a couple if independent appointees. It will include our accountant Kevin Shook, our merchandise liaison Nick Redell, and a couple others like the Molina twins
In year 2 these positions will be reauthorized via a general membership vote.
Once the board is in tact they will select a Head Facilitator through an application process. Did you say application process? Yes I did. Have you ever gotten a job you did not apply for? Well I have but that’s not the point. Even though this is a fly by night organization we want to project a more professional appearance. We also want to make sure that the person in this position is able to manage the relationships we depend on in an effective manner. There are so many intelligent and highly motivated individuals that care passionately about this organization. They are also highly qualified in their own professions which makes for a wide range of exceptional pool of people to draw upon.
What kind of benefits can you expect for my $20 membership?
First is the access to purchase tickets in the section at a price that is substantially cheaper than you get through Ticketmaster. Additionally you will have free beverages at the tailgates, member discounts on merchandise, and special events that happen from occasionally that members will have priority to participate in.
Does being a member of the CCSA make me a better or more loyal fan?
No. It means that you have chosen to have more ownership in the supporters group. It means you are supporting bigger and better tifo displays. It means that you want to have access to supporter tickets. It is my belief that no fan is better than another. Nobody is more important because of a section or membership than anyone else in the stadium. We have always strived to be inclusive and open to all. This doesn’t change that belief. It simply allows us to manage our growth and organization better.
What does the money go towards?
The funds generated by membership will pay for those beverages, increase our ability to subsidise travel for all fans, and fund the tifo displays we do. It helps us support the efforts of the smaller groups and stadium wide initiatives. Most of all IF we get around a million members maybe we can buy the team or at least be the jersey sponsor.
When will I be able to become a member?
Very soon. John Moore and 305 Spin is working to setup the mechanism on the website and our crack legal team is getting all those affairs in order. We will launch all of this in time to get tickets well in advance of the first game.
What is my responsibility as a member?
First and most importantly it is to show up and support your team. For every minute of every game we are there to support our boys and make Sporting Park the most hostile environment for opposing teams that we can. We do this with our songs, drums, flags, but most of all our hearts. We should be ambassadors of the game and supporters culture. We need to be welcoming to those that are new while staying open minded to learn from the wisdom of those that have been working at this for many years. Most of all we need to have respect for each and every person in the stadium. You certainly don’t have to like every person but you should treat them with respect. This community is best when as individuals we project its best qualities. It is a unique experience in the sports world, but one that has made this team and culture great. There is no need to tell others how they need to act in the stand, there is no additional rights that you are granted there is just more responsibility to be a good steward of this community to other fans.
Sean, clearly you are a genius but what made you so passionate about this and so and so handsome?
Let me be clear that I am not the longest standing season ticket holder nor have I been passionately involved in the operations of this supporters group the longest. I came into this because one of my best friends and roommates started taking me to games. Jeff is his name and without him I would not be sitting here typing this today. He persuaded me to go to the Cauldron tailgate, drink, be merry, and meet new people. At that time it was a much smaller group and it was easy to connect with all of those that were passionately involved. There were some that were there from the beginning like Sam Pierron, Mike Kuhn, and Ben Cunningham as well as others as new as I was. We played in a terrible environment and were the laughing stock of the sports scene. In the face of all that there was a core group of people that did not care what anyone else thought, loved their team, their city, and this sport. I was captivated by their passion, dedication, and friendliness (Well most were friendly). There was tailgating and partying that would make any Chiefs tailgate pro proud. Years of drinking, talking, drinking, and being educated by those like George and Andrea Hanson, Kevin and George Shook, Matt Fulton, and many others made me fall in love with the community built around supporting this team. At some point I was not going just to see a game but going to enjoy the games with my Cauldron family. Over the years more people have come, some have gone but are not forgotten. The family has and continues to grow. Through the years this idea of a community has stayed prominent in my mind. Its also been continually reinforced by Jeff, Kevin and many others. Sam taught me the history of the supporters group, the history of the supporters as they relate to the league. Jeff opened my eyes to how supporters groups around the world function and bring a unique atmosphere in the sports landscape. No matter what form the supporters group took after all these years there have been those that have stepped up to lead, helping to continue the growth. Just before we left CAB I took on some of that leadership. With the help of Jeff, Kevin, and many others we continued to mold this vision of a utopianesque supporters community. With the opening of the stadium we gained a huge influx of fans that bought into this idea and have joined the family. The growth has been amazing and allowed us to start doing things we could previously only dream of. Without all of those people that instilled this in me I would not be sitting here writing this. Blame them or thank them. My vision is just a continuation of their vision. That vision will be continued by someone after me and someone after them. Am I just rambling at this point? Oh well, its what I do.
What was the point of that last section?
I just want people to know what drives me and what has been behind my vision of The Cauldron guided by many people and experiences over the years. It is important to let everyone know why I do this, why we do this. It is also important to inform the younger less attractive version of me that will replace me and take this from level 10 to 11, it is also important to know that I am the least important cog in this machine. I am like the hand on the clock that is driven by all the little pieces moving on the inside. Each playing an important role in shaping what this has become an incredible organization, and what it will be an even better organization in the future.
Why is this not littered with your usual typos and misuse of the english language?
That is because I have Zach editing this as I type it. A big thanks to him for making me sound smarter than I am.
Can I go back to looking at porn and drinking beer?
Yes, thanks for taking the time to read this.I look forward to what the future holds for this group. The state of the Cauldron is strong and resolute. Thank you for all of your support each of you is what makes this important and will continue to inspire others to put it the work this takes.