Jan 312017
 

(Cross-posted from timbersarmy.org)

“To support soccer from the grassroots to the highest professional level”

Chances are that if you’re at all familiar with the 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107IST), you recognize that as our mission. Those words have been the guiding force behind everything we’ve done as organization since we were formed in 2009.

The 107IST was born out of the Timbers Army with the purpose of doing the heavy lifting on behalf of a vibrant supporters’ culture that was in the midst of a transition to MLS and the associated stadium renovations. The establishment of the non-profit organization was necessary to provide a stable point of contact to the Front Office on all issues facing supporters, be accountable for the management of all finances, house the intellectual and physical assets, as well as build on our already established record in the community.

The 107IST was founded to be the engine that drives the Timbers Army.

In the early days there really was little distinction between the Timbers Army and the 107IST. The 107IST Board of Directors supported the operations of the Timbers Army, and the two entities were viewed by most people as being synonymous.

However, in 2012, a change occurred with the announcement of the National Women’s Soccer League and the news Portland would have a team. When the Portland Thorns FC announcement was made official, supporters were already working to come together, organize, and plan for showing their dedication to the new team. The Rose City Riveters supporters group was born out of passion, anticipation, and civic pride, and quickly joined the 107ist community. From the beginning, in accordance with our mission and the wishes of the 107IST members, there has been a close relationship between the 107IST and the Rose City Riveters. This has included everything from knowledge sharing, to organizational support, to sharing the 107IST infrastructure. The Riveters have supported the Thorns from day one, and have set the standard on a global scale for what it means to support a women’s soccer team. Their tifo is second to none, they travel across the country to support their club, and they share this knowledge freely with other burgeoning SGs.

To be sure, there have been growing pains over the past few years, but there has also been much work done to identify problems and work through them.

Even though this relationship is now entering its fifth year, we still see a lot of confusion amongst members of the Portland soccer community. We thought that as we head into the 2017 seasons for both teams, it would be a good time to put out a succinct statement that clarifies the relationship between the 107IST, Rose City Riveters, and Timbers Army.

The 107IST is the umbrella under which both supporters groups live. It supports both groups as equal peers. Today the 107IST Board is still the de facto board for the Timbers Army, while the Rose City Riveters have their own steering committee. Lexi Stern sits on the steering committee as a 107IST Board member, and the rest of those positions are filled by core Rose City Riveters volunteers who oversee Riveters subcommittees.

As our work has evolved, we have incorporated both Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army work on the 107IST Community Outreach committee. We are looking to continue to evolve this cooperative participation at the 107IST committee level in several other areas, such as in travel and membership.

Over time we expect this “cross-pollination” to grow. We also expect that certain committees will work closely together, but remain separate as it makes the most sense. Game day is a good example here: we use the collective buying power of the 107IST to the benefit of both groups, but the actual day-to-day management of stadium operations are handled by two distinct teams.

Additionally, as time goes on, you’ll see the 107IST and the Timbers Army becoming more distinct from each other when appropriate. This started with the 107IST newsletter (which has always included both Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters news) as well as with Green Weekend (where both SGs have participated for the past few years).  As we continue to grow and evolve, you’ll likely see some messages come from 107IST, some from Timbers Army, some from Rose City Riveters, and some from combinations of the three, as appropriate.

In the end, the best summary of all of this is with an updated tagline that we’ve actually been using for a while:

The 107 Independent Supporters Trust: The engine behind the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters.

Respectfully Signed,
The 107IST Board of Directors and Rose City Riveters Steering Committee

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