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Crew In Recovery Mode After "Grades" Email

The team sent out an apology email, but will have to wait and see if it was enough.

Jamie Sabau

The Crew are working to repair some bruised bonds between fan and team over the membership score email from Tuesday. My friend Kevin, a Columbus transplant and adoptive Crew fan, wrote up his feelings before the holiday. It wasn't pretty as he excoriated the sales staff for their original email. He wasn't alone. Social media and message boards lit up with angry posts. This has the chance to do serious damage to the Crew's ticket goals. No team wants to alienate their fans.

After taking to social media on Tuesday, Mike Malo, SVP of Sales and Marketing, sent a long apology to season ticket holders at the bottom of the team's update on U.S. v. Mexico ticket sales on Wednesday.

Additionally, you received an email from the Crew yesterday informing you about your "membership score" as a Crew Season Ticket holder. This email was intended to help you gain a better understanding of the exclusive benefits and access you have as a Crew Season Ticket holder, and to encourage you to take full advantage of them. Rather than label this a score, we should have communicated that this number represents a percentage of how much you have activated your Crew Soccer Nation Fan Club membership and the benefits utilized to date.

We sincerely apologize if yesterday's email created a negative perception of what we were trying to communicate.

We have worked extremely hard to grow the Crew season ticket base, and to offer you meaningful benefits that add value to your season ticket investment. We want nothing more than to ensure that you continue to see value in being a Crew Season Ticket Holder, and that your experience with the club is positive and worthy of your continued involvement.

Your season ticket commitment with the Crew has helped Columbus rebuild its reputation in Major League Soccer as a vibrant soccer community. In order to keep this momentum moving forward, it's critical for the Crew to retain a large percentage of season ticket holders, as well as continue to grow the season ticket base. Doing this will put Columbus in a strong position to accomplish our Goal 10K initiative of reaching 10,000 season ticket holders, as well as elevate our club to an elite level in MLS.

We hope this clarifies any confusion surrounding yesterday's email, and that you will continue to maximize the unique benefits we offer to our season ticket holders, such as this exciting pre-sale opportunity to the biggest soccer match of the year on U.S. soil.


Mike Malo
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing

That is an extensive apology with a great line buried in the middle:

Your season ticket commitment with the Crew has helped Columbus rebuild its reputation in Major League Soccer as a vibrant soccer community.

That's pretty blunt, essentially saying that "We couldn't do this without you." That's why the fallout is so important to the team. With Goal 10K on the horizon, the team doesn't need any more self imposed hurdles to get there.

The team acted quickly with an unreserved apology. Now they just have to wait to see if those offended can forgive this gaffe or else this is another challenge for a sales team that doesn't need one.