Sounders FC has continued to set new standards for Major League Soccer in the box office.
And while a team that has won three U.S. Open Cup titles and reached the playoffs in each of its first five seasons certainly hasn’t hurt matters, the club’s ticket sales and game presentation staffs have always ensured that the crowds are large and that they are left with a tremendous product to watch in the stadium. For those that cannot attend matches, the team that puts together the club’s broadcast has ensured a tremendous product on television and radio.
On Thursday, those three departments were recognized at the Major League Soccer Club and Executive Awards.
Sounders FC was named the Broadcast Staff of the Year and Match Presentation Staff of the Year and an individual award went to Chris Lawrence (pictured) for Ticket Sales Executive of the Year and members of his staff were recognized in both season tickets, season ticket renewal rates and group ticket sales, with Chris Baretta, Chris Carra, Gary Boyle and Patrick Rooney collecting trophies.
The broadcast team of Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller started working together in 2012 after Keller’s retirement and Arlo White’s departure to work for NBC Sports and clicked instantly in the booth. Now after two years together, they have developed a palpable cohesion while broadcasting games to the masses in Seattle.
However, there are more on the staff that put together each match’s broadcast and those people were credited as well.
“It's the ultimate honor to be recognized by your peers and as is the case with any team award there are literally dozens of people who contribute,” said Seattle’s Assistant Director of Broadcasting Brian O’Connell. “Our ownership has shown a commitment from day one to be the best and have given us the resources to achieve that. We are also fortunate to have an outstanding freelance TV crew here in Seattle. They and our announcers help us day in and day out deliver a network quality broadcast to our supporters.”
Similarly, the in-stadium experience has maintained a high standard.
From the music to the video boards to the halftime entertainment, they all play a hand in a fan’s experience at each match.
“I am extremely lucky to work with such an exceptional group of people in our organization who take such pride in what they do,” said Manager of Game Presentation Shellie Roberts. “Congratulations and my deepest appreciation to all of you who helped earn this award.”
Those fans again showed up in record numbers in 2013, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the ticketing staff. With four matches opened to full capacity and an average crowd of 44,038 fans, it was a banner year at the gates again for Sounders FC.
“Our ownership challenges us each year to set attendance records and increase our season ticket base. It's a testament to our fans and the hard work our ticketing staff puts in that we continue to accomplish these goals,” Lawrence said. “And now it's on to a new season and new goals.”
In addition to the awards that went to Sounders FC for things that fans see on a day-to-day basis, Nolan Myer was also named MLS Equipment Manager of the Year.