Seattle Sounders Soccer Gets the Power of the Crowd

In 2007, Major League Soccer (MLS) awarded an expansion team to Seattle. The ownership group, including comedian Drew Carey and billionaire Paul Allen did a poll of their new fans, and they voted in the team name “Sounders”. But that was just the beginning.

Check out this clip from HBO’s Real Sports.


The team is the only US soccer team with its own marching band. It has the highest attendance in the league. And, it has the Sounders FC Alliance – a group of season ticket holders and other paying members who have special powers. The Alliance has the power to replace the General Manager if he isn’t doing a good job.  

The team’s energetic fan base is the rage of the league. And that energy comes from a feeling of ownership – the same energy that local companies can get through equity crowdfunding.

Jonathan Frutkin
Jonathan Frutkin is CEO of Cricca Funding, LLC. He’s written a new book called “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners” which was published in May, 2013.

Cricca Concierge

In the world of publicly traded stock, there are companies that are known as “transfer agents”. Their purpose is to facilitate transfer of stock ownership from one shareholder to another. It is really record-keeping process, and every non-bank transfer agent must be registered with the SEC. These registration criccarequirements are meant to keep out fly-by-night operations which may disappear with important records of who owns a company.

Investor relations firms also occupy the post-investment space. Rather than acting merely as a conduit for the transfer of securities, investor relations firm focus on communicating with investors. The communication can be something as simple as sending a proxy forms, or something as complex is putting together annual reports are other items for investors.

Crowdfunding is different. With respect to our clients, we’re talking about consumer-facing businesses, which have thousands of customers. These are the companies that successfully raise money using crowdfunding. As a result of those efforts, they all of a sudden have hundreds of shareholders. The fact is that these relatively small companies now have an extra operational hurdle. Plus they still need to activate these new owners as part of their marketing strategy. Even more than during the funding campaign itself, the period post-crowdfunding creates both traps and opportunity. These crowdfunded companies can’t be relegated to choose between a company that merely acts as a transfer agent or produces annual reports.

That is why we introduced Cricca Concierge. We enhance the power of your crowd – the owners of your business – and turn them into something much more than just owners. We turn them into high-frequency, high spending, and evangelical customers. These are the type of people that you want to communicate with often, ensure that they are receiving answers to all the questions, and are encouraged to use their social networks to promote the business. These are also the same people that you want to plan special events around and provide perks that are a natural part of the business. Cricca Concierge provides exactly that service.

We also help navigate secondary markets, transfers of shares, and other things that a traditional transfer agent would do. We also work with you to produce annual reports for your new owners. We do this all through one of the funding portal partners or through a branded website that is only accessible to your owners. We also have live support, both online chat, email and live person via Skype or telephone. Depending on the type of business you have, this type of concierge service is necessary for you to get the true “bang for your buck” that crowdfunding promises.

Our services are primarily directed toward the companies after we’ve helped them raise money, but we also accept a select number of companies that have been crowdfunded without our help. Do not hesitate to contact us regarding your specific needs. Our services are both powerful and flexible.

Jonathan Frutkin
Jonathan Frutkin is CEO of Cricca Funding, LLC. He’s written a new book called “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners” which was published in May, 2013.

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