Fire Confidential Poll - Open Issues

Last week's Q & A session with Julian Posada brought to light several issues that supporters still feel the team needs to address. A team store at Toyota Park will finally become a reality but several concerns still remain.

Finding a jersey sponsor remains acutely evident to everyone and the team certainly needs to increase it's visibility with local media outlets, but which other issues need to be tackled now? There are several items of discussion that have been tabled or currently in the works in one form or another.

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  • Guillermo Good Poll On Open Issues.
    Hopefully The Chicago-Fire Front Office Staff takes a look at
    these Poll results.

    Any news on why Calen Carr hasn't Played in any
    of the training Matches both in Florida and South Carolina?

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    i think he is injured at the moment

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    internet streaming is the #1 for me, as i live too far away from chicago to be able to get the matches on TV unless its ESPN or FSC.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    The pre-season streaming video that's available on Chicago-Fire.com makes me wonder why we can't listen to an audio stream while we are waiting for the right deal to be struck with the right radio station. At a minimum, it's an inexpensive avenue for generating more interest in the club.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    I'm really not sure why people are so upset about the jersey sponsor thing. Sure, it's a revenue stream for the team, and that's important, but beyond that? Really, I would rather it say "Fire" on the jersey than "Doritos," which I can't eat. Is it a perception thing? If so, people need to get secure and proud in their team. We don't need validation from others to be great. Remember, all of our trophies came before Best Buy entered the picture.

    Radio would be great for those games when I'm stuck in the car. And Spanish language is fine. I'll miss Batata on 1200 AM.

    I don't have cable, so I would love it if the Fire could get a channel on Roku so that I could watch all of the games.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    I think most of the sponsorship issue has to do less with some gawdy logo on the jersey, and more to do with a revenue stream to bolster finances. As it relates to the away kits, it's the fact that those white jerseys, with a small Fire badge on the front and a misplaced Chicago flag, look aweful.

  • In reply to DFBJeff:

    You're correct on the sponsorship issue. I think the concern is based more on the added revenue that would enable the team to improve either the on field or off field product.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Yeah, there certainly aren't too many people that actually liked BESTBUY instead of FIRE or CHICAGO.
    GR, didn't you report a while ago that the BestBuy deal accounted for basically the entire Fire roster, excluding DPs? That's a lot of money that was likely used for scouting, management purposes, etc, that we couldn't actually see.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    And another related thought: If there is no sponsor, why aren't the away white jerseys going to have the red banner and say Chicago on them like a few years ago? I heard they are going to be blank on the front, and I think that's crazy... even Chicago without the red banner would still be better than nothing.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Getting Adidas to deliver the plain white kits seems to be a problem....there isn't enough time to alter the uniform and ensure delivery by the start of the season.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Yep...the Best Buy deal basically covered what amounted to the equivalent of the roster cost every season (without DP's.....or at least close to it.

  • Is there an "all of the above" choice? :)

    I believe those are all important issues in their own right. Hopefully the Q&A w/ Julian will be the starting point of some change and action on a few of those fronts. It seems that, from a priority/safety/fan well-being standpoint, improving the parking/security coordination would be at the top of their list, since the fan experience, from the time you hit the lot until you leave, is what brings fans back. A smooth, enjoyable fan experience would seem of top concern to the FO, and I'm sure we'll see a difference in how that is approached in 2011, especially from a security standpoint in light of some of the "issues" that arose last season.

    Radio was obviously tabled, so that's a no-go this year, but I would hope that in the same way we've been able to secure some local tv coverage via My50, etc, we'd be able to secure some radio broadcasting, and get some of our already-sponsors on board as well as new sponsors to help subsidize the costs.

    The third kit/flag jersey and authentic road jersey kit availability seems to be more at the mercy of Adidas than anything else. We know that Hauptman is working on new away kit ideas, we can only hope that the concerns that were brought up at the Q&A, and online, will be heard. I'd love to see Adidas being more cooperative as well, with availability, but I know many of us have experienced the limited availability issues, both w/ the club directly through online and Merch event sales, as well as directly through Adidas outlets. I've personally heard Adidas outlet store employees echo fan concerns about the availability of MLS gear to the fans, so it would seem that they aren't concerned with getting the product in our hands, which is disheartening.

    Matchday Live internet streaming: If I could watch Chicago Riot MISL games through the MISL website, MLS can do it too. For free. I'd LOVE to have the chance to as Don Garber that at the Season Kickoff Luncheon next week. There's no reason they can't patch broadcasts in through the website if smaller markets like the MISL can. Would love to see it materialize.

  • When has Carr ever played? he scored a goal in a playoff years ago, had a few half hit shots that squeaked in last year, and yet has had a career with the fire, despite rarely playing. all this a NOT making league minimum and surviving several expansions. Carr's survival in this league is a mystery to me. he has speed and an ability to be caught offsides but what else? Polaroids of someone in power?

  • In reply to Celt:

    Your right Celt Carr has speed to get himself off sides, he needs to work on his timing and put more Power Behind his shots so he can Blast them past the Goalie and get away
    from those trickle shots. "Maybe Carlos is planing on trading him so he isn't playing him because he is so prone to injuries."

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    tiger, didn't mean to denigrate goals, a goal is a goal after all and if you get enough lucky goals you are good, not lucky. But Carr's goal spell last season was an aberration, and fortunate I thought. if only he had a cannon to go with the speed. I always thought he was a headless chicken and have never rated him, ever, and he has done nothing over the years to justify being in the league. I'm sure he's a lovely lad and I wish him well, just somewhere else. perhaps he will break out this year, but I think he is 29, so not holding my breath.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    I say lets show adidas that we don't cater to them by covering up their logo on all our apparel with tape. already sent pictures to their email address.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    in terms of being a season ticket holder, i think that improved parking is #1. many times last year the parking people were not on the same page as the FO when the FO would open the lots early. trying to leave games is a pain in the neck. how many times did it take people more than 20 minutes just to get out of the lots after a game? the longest i had to wait was 35 minutes. it was much better at soldier field.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Live internet strfeaming is available already for almost every MLS match for about $30-$40 for the season. Only games not included are televised nationally which if you live outside Chicago you should be able to get anyway.

    If you're asking for this one to improve by being free don't hold your breath. The price is more than reasonable and the quality is worth it.

    Parking and stadium security seem like the thing that can be changed that will have the most immediate effect cc happy fans equals more money.

  • In reply to seaside:

    The MLS Matchday live package is a pretty good deal.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I was disappointed in MDL last year for not being clear about which games they would and would not shown. Being out of town and trying to follow every Fire game means paying the for mdl + paying cable company another ?? $$$ for various additional channels to watch the missing games. The real problem was figuring out what would be shown where ahead of time.

    Why can't I buy 1 service (whatever the price) and be sure to see all the Fire games?

  • In reply to cbrooks:

    Yep...that's why the issue was included in the poll.

  • In reply to cbrooks:

    GR...Is there any new word on TV coverage and the broadcast team? I liked that they tried to have a true post game show last year (it didn't work, but they tried). Maybe you can have a poll on who people would like to see in he booth. Play by play:

    a. Dan Kelly

    b. Fred Huebner (never pronounced Conde's or Nyarko's names correctly)

    c. Sarah Kustok (promotion from the sideline to the booth)

    d. GR

  • In reply to SoccerNewbie:

    The announcement on tv partners and the broadcast team should be made this week. I liked Dan Kelly in the booth last season.

  • In reply to cbrooks:

    Id like to see Guillermo do the promotions from the sideline
    and Player and Coach interviews.
    "HOWARD BALSM who did the Play by Play for The Chicago Sting
    is by far THE VERY BEST with a proven record."

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Spoke with Howard at the Chicago Heritage night at the Odeum. He's not interested in the travel necessary to be a broadcaster. But he was the best. I've never been fired up or disgusted with any of the announcers they've had so far. I wonder if there are any ex Fire players that are still in the Chicago area that would take on the job. Maybe McBride would be available. Not sure what his retirement plans are.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Howard Balson would be my top choice if the Fire ever were to do the unthinkable and provide English radio broadcasts like just about every other team in MLS.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    From the Portland Timbers.....a radio broadcast AND a call in show....novel ideas........

    http://www.portlandtimbers.com/news/2011/03/timbers-announce-broadcast-partners-2011

  • In reply to cesba:

    Guillero,
    You need to share this information with Andrew Hauptman
    and Julian Posada. Do you have access to them?
    "It's a real shame A City like Chicago with the largest
    Soccer Fan base in the USA doesn't and can't do what a New
    Team like The Portland Timbers are doing for their fans.
    "The Fire Front Office Must All Be Sitting On The Pot And
    Not getting The Paper Work Done."

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Be assured I will.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Some idiot on another blog listed the Fire's midfield as being 16th out of 18.
    He placed Pappa, Pause, and Banner in the starting midfield.
    I could understand his confusion if Banner started, under that scenario
    we would end up 16th or lower.
    He forgot to mention Ristic, Nyarko, and Husidic, all of whom would start before Banner.
    and also failed to mention the recent midfield pickups.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    That was WVHooligan and yes...I disagree with that assessment.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I think Grant Wahl is the best soccer writer in the US when it comes to the international game and all things "Becks" but his MLS 2011 predictions seem like they were picked straight out of the "I only follow NY and LA" handbook......

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1182990/index.htm

  • In reply to cesba:

    Toronto FC finishing ahead of the Fire...NO WAY!!!! TFC could be the worst team in MLS.

  • In reply to cesba:

    To those that have doubts about the large Soccer Fan
    Base that we have in the Chicago Area should pay attention
    to the attendance will see at Soldiers Field on 06/12/11
    at the 2011 Gold Cup Game Mexico VS Costa Rica.
    It wouldn't surprise me if the announced attendance is
    60,000 plus.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    I don't think there's much doubt that Chicago has a large Mexican fan base that will come out to support the Mexican National team; however, supporting professional American soccer is an entirely different issue.

    I for one will be avoiding the entire Soldier Field area during the Gold Cup this summer. Good luck Monterrey Security . . . you'll need it.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Fireman451,
    I am not Mexican, I was born in Germany and consider
    myself a dedicated German / American Soccer Fan.
    My children were born in the USA and I used to coach soccer on the youth level and they both Love The
    Beautiful Game that the rest of the world Calls Football. "The Chicago-Fire Front Office has to figure out a way to appeal to the soccer community."
    The Chicago Sting had a number of German Players as well as American and they drew some very large crowds
    to quite a few games. Howard Balsom used to refer to them as Der Sting. We have a Mexican Coach and it would be a good idea to have a Quality Mexican
    Player and I don't mean Nervy Castillo who was
    and still is a big disappointment. "I guess what I am trying to say is, in the Chicago Area we have a Very Large Ethnic and Home Grown American Soccer Fan Base that under the correct Marketing Strategy can
    become Fire Fans.
    It is a real shame that the Fire Front Office
    Staff lacks the skills and know how, that could attract those fans.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    That's a unique perspective I haven't seen or considered . . . well, not today at least.

    I've supported the American soccer game since 1978, kids' club and school teams and have been a Fire season ticket holder since 2000. I've seen this story before.

    Enjoy the double header this summer Tiger and please make sure those fans don't damage my seat at Soldier Field when I go watch real football there next fall.

    ;-)

  • In reply to fireman451:

    The Sting drew the occasional large crowd, but their attendance numbers were far lower than those of the Fire. In 10 years of outdoor soccer in the NASL, they averaged 8104. They had only three seasons where the average was greater than 10K and their best season was 1981, when they averaged 12,889. The Sting's best average attendance was still lower than the Fire's worst.

    Tiger's point about the Fire's shortcomings with respect to marketing is correct. But the best marketing strategy is to put a team out there that plays attractive, winning soccer. This is the key to winning over soccer fans who are reluctant to commit to the Fire.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    Like I've said before, winning is the best marketing tool ever. However there is a substantial soccer market in Chicago that the Fire have yet to reach.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    Check out the revamped Section 8 store with new scarves available....

    https://section8chicago.myshopify.com/

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    pre-season matches been pretty chippy this year. chicago has 2 red cards in 4 matches

    and then there is this (RSL vs SKC):

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsrsl/51391872-49/rsl-game-morales-team.html.csp

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    i think a key word here is "attractive" soccer. watching mls soccer can be painful at times, especially if one is used to watching top notch european/international soccer. as mls improves in quality, the more fans will enjoy the product and come back to games or turn the games on on TV. but if they turn on the tv and see carr playing with banner...or barrett missing sitters left and right (as examples), it just won't intrigue the more casual soccer fan.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/mls/story/Galarcep-Chicago-Fire-pinning-playoff-hopes-on-its-defense

    Everyone's favorite fat-a$$ with his "shocking" view that the Fire won't be good again. What a surprise!

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    Sam's notes : Banner and Carr injured........

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/fire-notes-banner-out-season-opener

  • In reply to cesba:

    GR -- in your previous posting "Krasov" said something about an MLS directive that the teams should strive to play a more technical brand of soccer. Were you aware of that? I'd love to read it. BTW Ives has a reputation way beyond his capabilities for analysis. How did he get so big, longevity???

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    I think Krasov was referring to comments made by the Don and some of his underlings referencing the league's ambition to play more attractive soccer....it wasn't so much a directive.

    I think Ives' site filled a void for MLS news/reporting that didn't really exist in any coherent form when he put together the blog. He saw the opportunity to branch out on his own and it took off with the demand for real MLS news.

  • In reply to cesba:

    GR - as long as I'm rambling.... There has been mention on several blogs, yours included, regarding bad vibes in last year's locker room but I've heard nothing as to who or what was at the source of this turmoil. Is everyone trying to protect someone? Please don't blame it just on losing!!!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    No one has really pinpointed the bad vibes on the record but it's pretty apparent that Conde's mind was elsewhere most of the season, Castillo was rather useless, and there was some dissatisfaction with issues like training and tactics combined with losing. It also didn't help that the team captain was riding off into retirement.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Is this good news?
    It'll give some of the new guys a chance to advance.
    We know what Banner can and cannot do.
    Bit of a bummer for Carr as his injuries continue to
    mount, harder to gauge what he brings to the team
    when healthy.

  • In reply to cesba:

    doesnt surprise me at all - IMO, anything SI puts out is always coastal biased. i'd be surprised if any SI writer has ever lived in the midwest

    only thing that shocks me is he picked KC 2nd in the east

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    I predicted Sporting Kansas City to finish 2nd in the East; it doesn't surprise me at all.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Sorry about that I meant "GUILLERMO"

  • In reply to cesba:

    It is a great deal, and I took advantage of it in 2009. Unfortunately, last year when I tried to sign up for it again, I was told it wasn't available in my area (I live in Mexico). Incredibly irritating, as MLS games are barely shown on TV here. I sent an email to MLS inquiring about it, but of course never heard back from anyone.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Interesting tactic by Rapids supporters in Colorado....

    http://www.examiner.com/colorado-rapids-in-denver/colorado-rapids-supporters-take-to-the-ice

  • In reply to Celt:

    Since a Chicago based company is a Jersey Sponsor for Manchester
    United I am surprised that Julian Posada isn't camping on their
    Door Step and pleading his case for The Home Town Team Chicago- Fire.
    Maybe Don Garber when he comes to Chicago can help him with this since he has so much Media expertise. Chicago has one of the largest Soccer Fan Base in the USA. Boys we need to learn how to tap into that large lucrative Soccer Fan base.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Very true....but apparently sponsors don't feel the need to cater to that large market. I find that part a little hard to believe.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Agreed GR. And I'm personally a bit conflicted about the "we want relationship, not a transaction" theory from Julian. I understand wanting to have a relationship that is mutually beneficial, but at the end of the day, it's business, and business is about removing emotion and looking at the bottom line. I don't think that the Fire, in its current state, is in a position to be choosy about whom they hook up with for sponsorship $$. I just don't see how they could lose BB as sponsor 3 weeks post-season, and not have anything lined up after 6 months. Either they didn't look hard enough, or they had what they thought was a "sure thing", and the bottom fell out.

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