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2014 and Beyond: The Evolution of our Membership, The River End, and the SoB Board of Directors

Do you remember our first day at PPL? Remember that magical game against Seattle when we all got together for the first time? When we had that MASSIVE tailgate in the swamp then marched into the River End, for the first time, as Sons of Ben and showed everyone what being a supporter was all about? So do I. Vividly.

We’ve evolved since that great day. We’ve had some fantastic moments. We cheered, sang, chanted, and DOOP’ed every time and we never wavered, even in the difficult times. All in all, you have to admit, it’s been a great run so far and is something we look forward too week in and week out. The Union, PPL Park, The River End, and Sons of Ben; it’s all home. It’s all family.

As we continue to progress through this great season, we are also preparing for the next. We are always thinking about what can be done next and how it will make things better. For 2014, we have BIG changes to announce. Our membership is evolving, the River End is evolving, and most importantly Sons of Ben is evolving.

Sons of Ben Membership

  • The cost for a season long membership in the Sons of Ben has gone from $40 to $27.  Yes, it’s gone down.  Why you ask?  Simple.  We’ve worked a deal with the team where we now receive a portion of the purchase of River End season tickets.  This allows us to reduce your membership cost and prepare for a massive push into next year.
  • The $27 Sons of Ben Membership will include a new SoB Membership Card, a new membership kit (announcement on this coming soon), the ability to purchase seats in the River End, access/discounts to tailgates, access/discounts to SoB and Union events, SoB Partner Offerings, and most importantly, a say in how Sons of Ben is run (more on this below).
  • Starting today, and in conjunction with the Union’s season ticket renewal announcement, you will be able to renew your Sons of Ben membership when you renew your season ticket.  You will no longer have to register with Sons of Ben first, wait for us to send the info to the team, then have them validate it before you buy your tickets.  It’s all one streamlined process now.
  • If you are a Sons of Ben member with season tickets outside of the River End, you will be able to renew your SoB Membership through the same process.
  • If you are a Sons of Ben member and do not have season tickets, you will be able to renew your membership through a direct link on the Union’s ticketing website.

The River End / Season Tickets

  • With the start of the Union Season Ticket Renewal Period, Sons of Ben members will have their own window where you have the ability to renew and secure your seats in the River End at the SoB Member price ($324). The SoB ONLY renewal period will end October 1st.
  • The Sons of Ben Membership fee ($27) can be incorporated in your season ticket payment plan.
  • During the renewal period, you can secure your current seats, buy new seats, and when the Union opens the relocation process, you will have first dibs to move your seats if you so desire.
  • After October 1st, season tickets not purchased or renewed by Sons of Ben members will be open to the public for purchase at the END LINE price ($360). Anyone who purchases those tickets can still become a member of Sons of Ben if they choose and still secure the SoB Member price ($324).
  • We’ve made it easier for you to secure both your Sons of Ben Membership and Season Tickets by combining the process under one system. You will no longer need to have to go through the difficult process of buying your membership separately, wait for the updated membership list to be sent to the team, contact the team, then secure your season tickets after your membership is verified. It’s all one streamlined process now.
  • One important note: ANYONE who purchases tickets in the River End will be subject to the same rules and the SoB Code of Conduct that we all follow. NO EXCEPTIONS. 
We want everyone in the River End to be Sons of Ben members. That’s our goal. When we are all actively engaged in the game day experience and the efforts of the group we are at our strongest. We’ve proven that time and again. By opening up the River End, we give people the chance to become members and experience the River End thus increasing the number of new members of our great supporters group.

Sons of Ben Elections

Since we started, Sons of Ben has been run by a closed board comprised of the original founders, founding members, and new volunteers. When people were added to the board, it was done through a closed process where we evaluated their contribution to the group, their skill sets, and the needs we had to address at that time. It served us well for the most part because it allowed us to develop a strong foundation for the group, make quick and informed decisions, and plan for the future based on the current vision.

Over the last 6 years we’ve learned a lot about how to run the organization and what works for you and what doesn’t. We’ve made adjustments/changes along the way and while we certainly know not everything has gone as smoothly as we planned, we continued to learn and adapt. But with the growth and maturity of the group at the stage is currently it is, it’s time for the board to evolve so that it can properly adapt to the changes and needs of our membership. The bottom line is the Sons of Ben Board of Directors is evolving.

As part of this announcement, the entire process for electing the future leaders of Sons of Ben will be changing. By doing so, you will now be electing people who will infuse and complement the existing board with new ideas, fresh perspectives, renewed energy, and a demonstrated passion for Sons of Ben and it’s future. Here’s how it will work:

  • The 2014 Board will be elected in December of this year through the current model and begin laying the groundwork and setting up the transition for the 2014/2015 SoB Board of Director elections.
  • For the 2014/2015 SoB Board of Directors, there will be positions opened for elections.
  • Late August/early September 2014: The new board structure and open board positions will be announced.
  • Members who wish to be considered for open board positions will be required to submit a Bio that will be posted to the Sons of Ben website for everyone to read. One key element of the bio that will be focused on will be service. What have you done to help the group and/or other organizations. There will be more details on the focus of the bio’s later but again, service will be a core element.
  • October 2014: A full membership meeting will be set up where all nominees will be required to attend and answer questions from a moderator as well as the membership. This meeting will be recorded and posted online for those that cannot attend. We will work on making it available via live stream as well.
  • November 2014: Elections. All current Sons of Ben members will receive a unique link to vote on the open board positions. The logistics are being worked on and will be announced at a later date. Rest assured, we will have an secured system in place for this process.
  • December 2014: The SoB Board of Directors will meet, ratify the election and welcome the new Board members. At this meeting, the new members will be assigned their roles on the board beginning 2015. Transitional work will begin at this meeting as well. 
Beginning with the 2014 SoB Board of Directors, all directors will be subject to Term Limits. With 2014 being the first year for this, members will be on either a 2 year or 3 year term limit to start. Once we make it through the first term cycles, all members will be on alternating 3 year terms. Example: The President and Vice-President will never be up for election during the same year.

Wrap Up

We are in the process of setting up an event in early September where we can address questions directly. In the meantime, there will be a lot more details coming out about all of the announcements today in the near future but just know that as our membership is evolving, so is the leadership, so is the organization as a whole, and these efforts are a direct result.

Copyright © 2013 Sons of Ben, All rights reserved.

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