Sunday, February 17, 2008

Transparency...well maybe translucency

For those who have been fans, staff or followers of teams i've run in the past, you already know that i believe strongly in the importantance of transparency in an organization. It builds confidence, faith, understanding and interest.

i responded to an email from Chicago Investor/Director Gary Weaver recently with a quick update from my BlackBerry. i thought it would be of interest to share the update with readers of this blog to give you a glimpse into what's going on behind the scenes at Chicago Professional Women's Soccer. Then i went to edit out items that may be proprietary or need to be kept confidential for the time being. After the edits, it looked like a redacted Top Secret Government file.

Well, here it is anyway. i hope reading between the edits will still give you a sense of the level of activity occurring behind the scenes right now, still more than a year out from opening day:

"Gary,

Things are really picking up. Met with ***** on Tuesday regarding Operations Director position. Good meeting and we put the ***** options on the table.

Two good interviews with coaching candidate *****, we believe ***** is the best choice. We expect to draft terms for *****'s contract offer soon.

Five big promos/events on the short term horizon:

1) Advisory Board Meeting Tuesday (20 or so attendees expected out of 30 or so on the Board)

2) Name the Team Promotion Launch (March 1st)

3) Kids Club Promotion Launch (March 1st)

4) IWSL seeding meetings (six of them) with 900+ coaches March 1st.(where we plan to kickoff our Kids Club and Name the Team Promotions)

5) IYSA Expo March 8th.

Additionally, we have the Managers Meeting Tuesday, ***** discussions and ***** is coming to Chicago *****.

On the sponsor front, we hope to have ***** as an in kind promotional partner by the end of next week. This is important as it should lead to several good cash sponsors and plenty of free promotion. We have four potential vendor sponsors as part of the ***** deal: ***** batteries, ***** bandages and two new products - ***** (a portable *****) and ***** (a unique self warming *****). Making progress on medical partners. *****, which has committed verbally to provide all our non-doctor medical staff, is helping with our team doctor/hospital search. We hope to bring in ***** through a hospital sponsorship.

Also making progress on staff candidates, camps, printing needs, partnership contracts and Dave called back, so we should have updated financials for Tuesday. We have appearances planned at three June soccer events already and are lining up interns for IYSA expo and summer events.

I continue to help the League on marketing, PR and expansion committees as well. We're getting some traction on expansion candidates in *****, ***** and *****. i am also posting more on my blog to try to build an audience, which will hopefully serve as a good way to keep our constituencies informed on our progress.

I think that's all for now :)

peter"

4 comments:

Flynn said...

That's ***** news Peter!! Just like I told my friends: "Peter Wilt is a real ***** guy."


In all seriousness, as a fan of the Fire and chicago soccer in general, I always look forward to your updates.

Without giving too much "insider" info away, can you tell us anything about what you look for in prospective sponsors for women's soccer?

peter said...

We try to work with corporate partners who can benefit from our unique audience (Suburban families, young adults and Latinos) and benefit from exposure to our audience, hospitality at our games and activation through our outreach.

In exchange we look for financial renumeration (i.e. $$$), co-op media support, promotion through their marketing channels and avenues to sell tickets).

Anonymous said...

Peter I have a follow-up question, sparked by your response:

In terms of projecting the demographics of WPS in 2009, what kind of info are you using? Really, I'm wondering to what extent you're looking at data from the old WUSA league, if you're looking at MLS demographics at all, and/or if you're doing your own unique projections.

I'd be interested to hear if (and how) you see the average WPS fan differing from the average MLS fan. But if this is all private info, I would certainly understand.

peter said...

Anonymous,

Washington and Boston provided some info from the old League, but most is anecdotal. MLS demos change market to market based on ethnic makeup. For outreach, sales and marketing purposes we are going more on gut and experience than on existing women's pro soccer demographics due to the lack of comparable information.

In Chicago, we plan on a similar plan as the Fire. Strong efforts towards the suburban youth soccer families, which will provide the core audience (say 5k per game as an eg.).

We believe it's extremely important, however, to diversify the crowd with a non-traditional women's soccer audience of young single adults (urban and suburban 18 to 30), ethnic families (mainly Latino), urban anglo families, LGBT and corporate (businesses, vendors and clients bringing their families).

It will take more resources and effort to get 2,000 per game (using the above base numbers) of the non-traditional audience than to get 5,000 of the core audience. But i believe that the diversity of the crowd will make a more enjoyable game atmosphere and will encourage the base fans to return.

i don't know that there is an "average" fan of either League. MLS has a pretty diverse fan base - except maybe in Columbus and Kansas City. ;) WPS potentially has a diverse fan base, though a lot of work/outreach and the right presentation have to come together to attract the non-traditional family audiences.

Hopefully the above answered that question for you though.