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  • The first step in making some major necessary changes to the Voyageurs, is moving the forum.

    The major reasons being:

    • Separation of the forum from The Voyageurs as a group to limit possible damage from content. 
    • The ability to more heavily moderate the forum without the sense that people are being suspended or banned from The Voyageurs as a group
    • Decrease the view of the Voyageurs as simply a forum, that many people are not comfortable to join.  They need to join a group.
    • The divisive nature of inter city bullshit
    • The divisive nature of club soccer 
    • Attract those that are soccer fans in this country but do not want to be part of a national team organization and are hesitant to participate in the forum.  
    • Increase in traffic as a general Canadian forum/hub for club and national team soccer can drive more people to The Voyageurs.
    • Drive more traffic to Canadian podcasts and blogs with the forum being integrated into CSN as a general Canadian soccer hub.
    • Impending draconian copyright laws
       

    Please test things out on the new site, and email me at socceronly@gmail.com   If you run into any problems. 

     

    Check out the forum's new home on CSN, which will be built into a general hub for all Canadian soccer.

socceronly

Membership brainstorming

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What we know.

Annual single payment through site/PayPal.  Manual options for sensible people who eschew technology.
Cost:  $19.86

What it will include

  • Significant discounts on tickets. (our almost at cost model)
  • Membership benefits we can create with partners.  As the numbers grow, so would the benefits. 
  • Special event access
  • Voting access for things like tifo, merch, awards
  • Increased or maintain site feature access - ignore, blocking, blog, gallery ect....
  • Full site access - We can decide what that means, but definitely member only access to planning forums
  • Separate V's store with discounted merchandise and member only merchandise
  • Trips and away games - This is actually necessary to sell trips legally in most of Canada. 
  • plus THING

 

What we don't know

What is THING?  Whatever thing is, it needs to be sent by regular mail.    10.5" x14.9"  x 0.6" inch maximum size. Go beyond this and you hit package shipping and it is game over.   All size t-shirts will fit into this package.

I am largely stuck on thing.  Scarves are out unless you are charging $25+ for membership, and people have A LOT of scarves.

Whatever thing is, it must be able to be sent by regular mail, and be something I can make or not invoke some serious capital cost for an unspecified number of things.  It should be something 'collectible' in nature I think. 

Annual patches?
8x10 team photo glossies?
Annual V's pennant you can hang and be a super nerd?
Annual tshirt?

 

Ideas?
 


 

 

 

 

 

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T shirts are always useful, but I am not sure if is the best way to use the funds.  I have no idea what they cost you, but at minimum there are inputs (T shirt and logo materials) and postage.  That has to chew into the $20 paid in to support the V's.  Even if you can move them out the door for as little as $5 shipped, that would amount to immediately giving up 25% of the potential revenue right away.  

Personally, if I am buying a membership (and I will), I would be fine knowing it was all going to the organization.  Recognizing that opinions will vary, I don't think $20 is excessive, so I don't need a tee as incentive. 

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2 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

T shirts are always useful, but I am not sure if is the best way to use the funds.  I have no idea what they cost you, but at minimum there are inputs (T shirt and logo materials) and postage.  That has to chew into the $20 paid in to support the V's.  Even if you can move them out the door for as little as $5 shipped, that would amount to immediately giving up 25% of the potential revenue right away.  

Personally, if I am buying a membership (and I will), I would be fine knowing it was all going to the organization.  Recognizing that opinions will vary, I don't think $20 is excessive, so I don't need a tee as incentive. 

I would like to bump the quality of the shirts in general.  I can't see moving to the Canadian made ones, they are fantastic shirts but more than 3 times the cost of our current ones.  I think it makes sense to use them, but it won't work for somethign like this where cost is bigger factor than something you simply sell. 

If we were to use a middle ground shirt, on that basis, shipping, shirt and printing would be on the order of half, so coming in at just under $10.

The other option would be to just charge $10, same net, no work. 

 

 

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To give people an idea of what we are trying to hit.

Hosting - Cloud based SaaS for this site & sister site CSN getting rebooted when I go back to Vancouver

Current: $200US a month, $3,200CAD / year -> come 2026  -- $25,600
Expected growth: $460US a month, $7340CAD / year -> come  2026 -- $58, 720

Based on the expected growth, we would need based solely off of memberships 500 people at $19.86 to hit $10k with 100% net on the membership value. 

 

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1 hour ago, Greatest Cockney Rip Off said:

above you mentioned a "thing" being included and it needing to fit within a certain size to save on postage.

Ah sorry.

Not if that thing fit the shipping guidelines. The difference would be ok. As a package it would be ugly, 

 

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I'd be on board with $20.26 - look to the future, not to the past.

I like the annual patch idea out of all of them.  The pennant isn't a bad idea, but it's not exactly associated with soccer (seems more baseball) and it starts getting close to a scarf.

The idea of an annual scarf intrigues me but that would get expensive (plus old stock would become useless).

Edited by Gopherbashi

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I'd be okay with paying $20.26 for the membership & getting nothing mailed, but it probably would help sell the membership to some people.  A patch seems easy to mail.  Maybe you could include a tick box when people buy the membership to allow people to opt out of the 'thing' and have the full membership fee go toward the Voyageurs costs.

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10 hours ago, MrsC said:

I'd be okay with paying $20.26 for the membership & getting nothing mailed, but it probably would help sell the membership to some people.  A patch seems easy to mail.  Maybe you could include a tick box when people buy the membership to allow people to opt out of the 'thing' and have the full membership fee go toward the Voyageurs costs.

Or give them a choice by having a huge discount in the store.

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11 hours ago, Gopherbashi said:

I'd be on board with $20.26 - look to the future, not to the past.

I like the annual patch idea out of all of them.  The pennant isn't a bad idea, but it's not exactly associated with soccer (seems more baseball) and it starts getting close to a scarf.

The idea of an annual scarf intrigues me but that would get expensive (plus old stock would become useless).

I think by pennant i was thinking, not pennant specifically but the concept.  A kind of annual collectible thing that is similar in style but unique every year.   Something you can hang or collect like a small flag. 

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On 12/1/2018 at 10:08 AM, socceronly said:

I think by pennant i was thinking, not pennant specifically but the concept.  A kind of annual collectible thing that is similar in style but unique every year.   Something you can hang or collect like a small flag. 

Yeah I like the small annual thing.

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On 12/2/2018 at 7:25 PM, Gopherbashi said:

Yeah I like the small annual thing.

The trouble with annual is that what is annual for us? 

With a supporters group that follows a club team they have a set season. You join for that season/year.   With us people could be joining at any point in the year and likely around game times.

So what does annual mean in that sense.

 

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On 12/22/2018 at 5:34 PM, socceronly said:

The trouble with annual is that what is annual for us? 

With a supporters group that follows a club team they have a set season. You join for that season/year.   With us people could be joining at any point in the year and likely around game times.

So what does annual mean in that sense.

 

Keep it simple and stick with the calendar year.

If you're determined on basing it on a "season", you could do either the two-year Nations League calendar, or the four-year WC qualifying schedule.  There are many drawbacks to this, however:

- Multiple years on a crest will look odd (especially when most people in Canada are used to a single-year soccer season) and will potentially limit your design options.

- People are more likely to stomach a small, recurring cost than a large, single cost.  $20.26 is a small price and is easy for people to absorb in a monthly budget.  $81.04 is a large price and not as easy to absorb.

- If you base it on the four-year WC cycle, it would be bad optics to pick (presumably) the Men's calendar (2018-2022) over the Women's calendar (2019-2023) without a solid reason.

- There's no great place to pick for your calendar roll-over date.  Nations League starts September 2018, and ends March 2020.  What do you make your cutoff?  April 2020 and you detach Nations League from the Gold Cup.  July 2020 and you're right in the middle of the Gold Cup.  Sure, you could make it August or September before the next Nations League cycle starts, but then you're starting your "season" right as most MLS/CPL clubs will be ending.  It just makes it awkward.

Don't overcomplicate things without a good reason.

Now, what you could do if you're looking to bring people in around game times is offer a half-season discount later on in the year (say after the GC/WC ends but before the September match dates) if they buy the next year's as well.  So if someone bought this half+one pack in September 2018, they'd get the benefits for the three remaining international windows in 2018 (Sept, Oct, Nov) + all of 2019 for $30.39.  People will feel good about getting a discount for the half year and you'll feel good about being able to sign people up for a longer time period.

You can also go the other direction with the calendar year incentive as well, by offering slight discounts (or incentives) for multiple years.  Offer a 5% discount (or a special "thing") for a two-year membership aligned with the GC/NL cycle, or a 10% discount (or an extra-special "thing") for a four-year membership aligned with the WC cycle (once again with the mens/womens issue).

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One trouble I have with setting multiple pricing levels is how the software is set up.

Let's say you create three membership levels, and they are separated by swag.

Basic
T-Shirt
Hoodie

You end up with a problem on a recurring payment.  Someone who bought a hoodies, isn't necessarily going to want a hoodie again next year.

So we are faced with a couple of problems.

1) Peopel want to contribute at different levels, and it is effective to offer them
2) If you differentiate the reward for that, it does not translate to a recurring annual payment

 

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What I mean is, at the software level wrt to a recurring membership payment.... how do you do the following.

Offer say a hoodie at the highest level, but not send that person a new hoodie every year while still keeping the option open to others.   You could wing it via communication, but that is open to errors and not very scaleable. 

It's looking like one simple membership level. 

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Settled on this.

Single level -  While many people have suggested multiple levels, and by all accounts it is better at generating more value, it's logistically tricky on a few levels.   Maybe we will offer it in the future. 

Swag - Several people have suggested that they don't need or want anything. This is great but I think it is an impediment to bringing on new people


Final swag items for membership, Custom Passport & Custom V's annual coin.   

$25

We would need approximately 200 people to cover the annual site costs after taking into account the costs. 

Reasons for this decision....

  • Low capital cost / risk.
  • No per order work other than shipping 
  • Swag can be pre packaged and shipped by fullfillment if necessary and be readily available at games/events
  • Low shipping costs keeps the price down
  • Adds a collectible component 

 


 

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I know of a couple of people who use new swag items each year. i.e.

2019 Hoodie, T-Shirt, Basic
2020 Wind Jacket, Scarf, Basic
2021 Jersey, Socks, Basic
2021  Training Top, Hat, Basic
etc.

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3 minutes ago, Vic said:

I know of a couple of people who use new swag items each year. i.e.

2019 Hoodie, T-Shirt, Basic
2020 Wind Jacket, Scarf, Basic
2021 Jersey, Socks, Basic
2021  Training Top, Hat, Basic
etc.

But how do you implement it? 

We could just have large discounts for members for all of those items. 

The real bonus is being able to sell memberships at games, events and carry a bunch with me wherever I am or better yet use a fullfillment solution for it like FBA.

 

 

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Jamie, I like the single tier membership.  I did a purge over the holidays and realize that I have too much crap (including soccer stuff) but if stuff comes with membership each year, maybe some of us can opt out and still pay for the full fee.  I would.

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2 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

Jamie, I like the single tier membership.  I did a purge over the holidays and realize that I have too much crap (including soccer stuff) but if stuff comes with membership each year, maybe some of us can opt out and still pay for the full fee.  I would.

Sure, that is possible to set up.

It would be small though. I think the coins would be an unabtrusive thing to collect that wouldn't take up a lot of space. 

 

 

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