The Whitecaps organization dates back to 1974. The Club has been known as the Whitecaps and the 86er’s at various times during its lifespan, but regardless of which name it carried, it has always made a unique and important contribution to professional sport and entertainment in Vancouver and British Columbia. In the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, the Club experienced years of on-field success, winning the 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl and four consecutive CSL championships.
Since 2002, under the ownership of Greg Kerfoot, Vancouver Whitecaps FC has taken on a new life, with clarity of vision not seen in earlier incarnations. Over the past two years, the Club has engaged in an increasingly integrated and planned approach, guided by three organizational goals which form our mission:
1. To be one of the best small (market) sports franchises in the world
2. To grow the game of soccer in British Columbia & Canada
3. To be a significant community asset
With four United Soccer League Championships in the past three years (one First Division; two W-League; and one Super-Y); an established Super-Y affiliate program; Prospects training programs for elite youth development; improving on-field product; rising attendance; increased exposure through international exhibition matches; and the development of North America’s first elite youth development Residency program, the foundations of a Club philosophy have been firmly established. With planned facilities (stadium, fields, and training centre) also underway to support these endeavors, the Club is now in a position to move forward with Vision 2011.
Vision 2011 is the Whitecaps’ four-year plan, incorporating milestone goals for all aspects of the Club, including player development, fan loyalty, ticket sales, facilities, youth development, and community relations, among other things. Vision 2011 is about connectivity, integration of various teams and programs under a true Club philosophy, and steering the Club towards a sustainable future.
The four-year timeframe, leading to year-end 2011, was chosen specifically with thought towards several critical internal and external events:
· Anticipated completion of proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium
· Window of opportunity to align men’s first division team with best North American league available
· Building momentum for the 2010 and 2014 Men’s World Cup
· Legacy planning for Vancouver and British Columbia post 2010 Olympics
· Two major men’s tournaments (U-17 and U-20 World Cups)
· Potential to host 2011 Women’s World Cup (N.B.; this opportunity was recently awarded to Germany)
Goals for each piece of business have been aligned with overall organizational goals, with an aim that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.
Goals for success by the completion of Vision 2011 include:
· Economic sustainability of all major lines of business, with net revenues redirected to Whitecaps Foundation for investment into Club programs and other community initiatives
· 75% fan loyalty as measured by a combination of on-going surveys and ticket renewal rates
· Completed construction of new facilities throughout the Lower Mainland including Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium; a National Training Centre; and six Community Fields
· 90% year over year employee retention
On the way to reaching these goals, some key milestones that the Club is actively pursuing for 2008 include:
- Grow awareness of Whitecaps brand by 10%
- Develop and implement phase II of “Whitecaps FC University” training programs for staff, volunteers, and vendors
- Continuing to build youth programming through affiliations and regional partnerships
- Increase Season Tickets by 40%
We will continue to unroll Vision 2011 as part of major announcements throughout the year, and look forward to reporting on the achievement of milestone goals as they happen.