Not long ago I asked whether the Cauldron was the Heart of the Team or a Pain in the Butt. Here I take an outsiders look at how to improve the independent Kansas City Wizards Supporters Group, The Cauldron. Again the intent is to motivate leadership of The Cauldron to push to become the best Supporters Group in the league. In ( ) of each section is a number that says how important making this change is, 10 being very important and 1 not very important at all.
Change the Name (3)
A good Supporters Group name has some attachment to the team, but it also is an identity of the group. Consider some of the Supporter Group names around the league. My favorite is Toronto’s Red Patch Boys (and Red Patch Girls). Also great is LA’s Riot Squad, New England’s Midnight Riders. On the other hand some of the worst are Colorado’s Rapid Class VI, and every group that is named after the section they sit in, Section 108, Local 103 (I assume that is what that is about). This is a critic of the names of those groups alone.
Now, consider our name, The Cauldron. What comes to mind? Perhaps a big pot with a witch over it. There is nothing in the name that makes me think I’d like to be one of the Cauldrons or a member of the Cauldron. The Red Patch Boys (and Girls) have set a new standard in Supporters groups beginning with the name and I suggest (as an ideal) that the Cauldron re-brand with a name that is classic and legendary. When thinking of what they should be called I think of how one says they are part of the gro up. Now one would say they are a “member of the Cauldron” while in Toronto one would say they “are a Red Patch Boy.” So, what name? I don’t have the answer to that, but something historical and including “blue” might get us in the right direction.
Create a Cauldron Logo (10)
If you’ve read this blog at all you know I’m obsessed with logos, so the Cauldron not having one is a major issue for me. Logos help promote the identity of a group, The Cauldron name while not great is acceptable, however a logo is an absolute must. A logo is needed for t-shirts, scarfs, website, signs, promotion material, etc. Below I’ve posted a few of the better Supporter Group logos and then I’ve made one for the Cauldron. I am no artist, perhaps it is time the Cauldron approach Matteo (fake Wizards logos) with ideas for a Cauldron logo.
T o see more logos check out the sidebar at MLS Underround. Now an idea for our logo
Better Internet Presence (8)
The internet is a great tool or building/strengthening a Supporters group. While the Cauldron’s Website looks great there isn’t a great deal of interaction or even promotion of the group going on. Again, it does a bunch of things well. I love the people page with pictures (brilliant!), it does a good job of basic info, but not the details an outsider is looking for. How about a page on why I would want to join that tells me when y’all meet outside of the stadium, what it cost and what the benefits of joining are. How about an invite to the tailgate including what someone should bring, money/food. How about a new page with upcoming events, better yet get someone in leadership to post on Oz City Cauldron info/events/etc or make a Cauldron page in the sidebar. This is your invitation. And/or add a blog page to the Cauldron website. It works well because people and can post and interact easily with each other. Also add a links page to Facebook/MySpace Cauldron pages. The site looks great, it does many things well, but the internet presence is not as great as it could be.
Recruit New Members (9)
1. Make up fliers to handout at games with membership info (cost, what you gain, website info, tailgate, etc).
2. At half time take your festivity on the road, watching the Argentines march in to games is amazing, do something similar the last 5 minutes of halftime. All meet up at one side of field and march back to your seats with chants/cheers inviting people to come join you as you go. Some won’t care to join no matter what, but others simply feel weird doing so.
3. Offer online or on promotion material to buy a ticket for anyone (first time) who will go on your Road Trips with you.
4. Use Video/Pictures to show what you do as a Supporters Group. Again, a Toronto group is a great example in the video below. Make a page on your website/blog that gives a recap with stories, pictures and video of the trip.
5. Get more girls involved, start a sister group specifically for girls. As far as I know the Red Patch Boys are the first to have done this (Red Patch Girls) and it has resulted in their having more girl members. Get wives/girlfriends more involved. Perhaps working with the FO or Starting XI Girls a fun (not sexy) calender could be produced for a charity the team supports.
More Festive! (7)
Again, this is something the group does well, but can always do better. More confetti, blue everything. Perhaps more costumes, there is something great about seeing the crazies in costumes around the league, horns guy and kilt guy in Dallas comes to mind.
Prepare chants/signs that deal with specific star players on the other team. Not legitimately cruel or rude, but that looks to get some sort of reaction from the player. See what the FO will let you bring in, controlled smoke bombs, streamers, etc. The more blue the better.
Don’t get bent out of shape, this is not a “the Cauldron stinks” post, it is a “this is how to make the Cauldron better” post. My personal opinion of Supports Groups has never been good, but what I’ve seen the two groups in Toronto accomplish has given me hope that other groups could really make a difference in the game day experience as well the general experience of being a fan. I look forward to what the Cauldron can be this coming season and in years to come.