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Soccer Career Conference at the MLS SuperDraft

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 Soccer Career Conference

Experience the heart of the action and mix and mingle with some of the most prominent names on the soccer landscape by attending the SMWW Soccer Career Conference held in conjunction with the MLS SuperDraft. Attendees at this conference consist of club owners, front office personnel, league officials, agents, coaches,  and just about anyone from the business side of the game nationally and internationally. 

What:

The SMWW Soccer Career Conference is your opportunity to gain valuable insight into a variety of careers from those working at the highest level in soccer! This two day career conference offers unique panel discussions and question-answer periods designed to start or advance your career on the business of soccer. The day will be split up into diverse speaker panels; including sports business, athlete representation, scouting, broadcasting, media.

When:

TBA

Where: TBA
Who:

Anyone 18 years or older wanting to work or currently working on the business side of the sports industry. Conference has an emphasis on soccer.

Fees: Not yet available

College Credit Availalble: 1 college credit transferable to your university for attending this event. Visit Western Oregon University for more information.

Speakers: Not available until location and date are announced.

Check out all our Sports Career Conferences here.

Please keep checking back to this webpage for updates and changes. A final agenda will be sent to registered attendees one week prior to event.

  2010 Speakers included:
  • John Guppy, Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing Founder and former President & CEO of MLS Chicago Fire
  • Tony Farrell, Head of International Football with Everton FC
  • Mark Lisi - Sports Marketing Consultant and Player Agent, former MLS Player
  • John Print - SMWW Director of Soccer, FIFA Registered Agent
  • Tom Veit, President of Philadelphia Union
  • Chris Canetti, Chief Operating Officer of Huston Dynamo
  • Greg Cotton, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of Kansas City Wizards
  • Brian Wellman, President of Carolina RailHawks FC
  • Ron Mathurin, President of Steva Soccer (Video Analysis)
  • Jim Risher, Executive Director of Eurotech Soccer Academies and Tours
  • Tim Regan, Club Scout of Toronto FC
  • Matt Martin, Scout with International Scouting Network
  • Mark Washo, General Manager and President of Washington Freedom
  • Shawn McGee, General Manager of Atlanta Beat
  • Louise Waxler, Associate General Manager of Philadelphia Independence
  • Alex Kotler, Founder of Football Partnerships
  • Cara Joftis, Vice President of Marketing, Philadelphia Union
  • Tommy Smyth, Soccer Analyst for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN International
  • Mike Quarino, Vice President Ticket Sales and Fan Services of Philadelphia Union
  • Rich Searls, Director of Sales and Fan Services of New York Red Bulls
  • Steve Powell, Senior Vice President Business Development of Houston Dynamo
  • Brian Bilello, Chief Operating Officer, New England Revolution
  • Blake Wooster, Head of Business Development, Prozone Sports
  • Mark Gress, Co-Op Coordinator, Business Administration & Sports Management, Drexel University
     

 2010 Agenda:
(Note: This is the agenda for the 2010 conference below. Speakers for 2011 are now being invited and we will post the 2011 agenda as we get closer to the event. Speakers are not guaranteed. Teams sometimes do not announce who is attending the draft until two weeks prior to the event so we have to be flexible. So the agenda below is listed so you have an idea of how the event will be organized.)

(Speakers will be added and times will change. Due to schedules still being arranged, and teams finalizing who on their staff will be attending, this schedule is tentative.) Please keep checking back to this webpage for updates and changes. A final schedule will be sent to registered attendees one week prior to event.

Thursday, January 14th, 2010:
(held in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania)

7pm Registration opens.
7-9pm Networking Welcome Reception at a The Field House Sports Bar with light finger food and no host cocktails (next to the Marriott)

Friday, Janaury 15th, 2010:

7:30am Registration opens.
8:30am Welcome - Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, SMWW President
8:45am International Soccer Business Panel:

John Guppy,
Gilted Edge Soccer & Former Chicago Fire GM
Tony Farrell, Head of International Football with Everton FC
9:45am Soccer Agent Panel:

John Print,
FIFA Agent, London, England
Mark Lisi,  Sports Marketing Consultant and Player Agent, former MLS Player
10:30am Break
11:00am MLS and NASL Executive Panel:

Tom Veit, President of Philadelphia Union
Greg Cotton, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of Kansas City Wizards
Brian Wellman, President of Carolina RailHawks FC
Brian Bilello, Chief Operation Officer of New England Revolution

12:00 noon

1:00pm

Lunch Break (on your own)

Player Analysis with Blake Wooster, Head of Business Development, Prozone Sports

1:30pm Soccer Scouting Panel:

Ron Mathurin, President of Steva Soccer (Video Analysis)
Jim Risher, Executive Director of Eurotech Soccer Academies and Tours
Tim Regan, Club Scout of Toronto FC
Matt Martin, Scout with International Scouting Network
2:30pm Women's Professional Soccer Executive Panel:

Shawn McGee
, Atlanta Beat GM
Louise Waxler, Philadelphia Independence Associate GM
Mark Washo, Washington Freedom GM
3:30pm Soccer New Media Panel:

Alex Kotler, Founder of Football Partnerships
John Guppy, Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing Founder and former President & CEO of MLS Chicago Fire
Cara Joftis, Vice President of Marketing, Philadelphia Union
Tommy Smyth, Soccer Analyst for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN International

 
4:30pm MLS Ticket Sales and Business Development Panel:

Mike Quarino, Vice President Ticket Sales and Fan Services of Philadelphia Union
Rich Searls, Director of Sales and Fan Services of New York Red Bulls
Steve Powell, Senior Vice President Business Development of Houston Dynamo
Mark Gress, Co-Op Cordinator, Business Administration & Sports Management, Drexel University
5:15pm Closing Remarks - Dr. Lynn Lashbrook
  • Fees: Not yet available

2010 Conference Fee Included: (fees for 2010 are posted to give you an idea of what what included.)

  • Complimentary entrance to the NSCAA Exhibit Hall on Saturday, January 16th, 2010.  This trade show features exhibitors, check out this growing list. The Exhibit Hall at the NSCAA Convention is the nation’s largest soccer-specific trade show. With approximately 300 companies on hand, attendees can examine the latest soccer-related technology and equipment.
  • For those attendees interested in arriving early MLS SuperDraft entrance will be arranged. Thursday, January 14th, 2010 from 1pm-5:50pm.
  • All SMWW Soccer Career Conference Sessions on Friday, January 15th from approximately 8am-6pm.
  • SMWW Networking social at local Sports Bar on Thursday, January 14th, 2010 from 7pm-9pm. This event includes light snacks. (Beverages are at your own expense.)
  • Name Badge & Registration packet

    (Conference Fee does not include meals, hotel accommodations, or the NSCAA Convention)

 2010 Speaker Bios:

John Guppy, Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing Founder

John Guppy, understands what makes the soccer market tick at every level. The former President & CEO of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire has built a reputation over the past 20 years as one of the leading authorities on the business of soccer marketing, sponsorship, broadcast, management, and brand development. John’s extensive corporate marketing experience began in 1991 when he managed the US Soccer Federation’s national corporate partnerships with clients; Canon, Chiquita Bananas, Fujifilm, Gatorade, JVC, and Sprint. As President/CEO of the Chicago Fire John led the MLS Club to unprecedented business growth during his 3-year tenure. He guided the Club’s move from Soldier Field to its new home at Toyota Park, using the transition as a means to strengthen the Club’s brand identity, double ticket revenues and quintuple sponsorship support. Prior to joining the Chicago Fire, John spent 5 years as the Executive Vice-President of the NY/NJ MetroStars overseeing all commercial endeavors for the Club.

Previously, while working for sports marketing agencies Octagon and API, John was a key figure in managing and developing soccer properties at every level of the sport. Responsibilities included strategic planning, sponsorship exploitation, broadcast negotiation, research development, and event and hospitality management for the US Soccer Federation, Men’s and Women’s National Teams, US Youth Soccer, APSL, College Soccer, and the Reebok Cup.

Tommy Smyth, ESPN Soccer Color Commentator

Tommy Smyth joined ESPN in February 1993 as a soccer analyst for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN International. He serves primarily as the game analyst for ESPN International, calling UEFA Champions League, Italian Serie ‘A’ and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. Last year, Smyth served as an analyst during ESPN’s coverage of the 2006 FIFA Cup. At ESPN, Smyth has called more than 2,000 international matches from leagues all over the world. His credits include providing game analysis for ESPN’s telecast of European championship qualifiers, the Copa Libertadores, the South American Super Cup, Brazilian national championships, the Dutch league and the Italian Super Cups.

Smyth’s insightful soccer analysis originates from having called professional and international matches played by the World’s best players. Leading up to the 2002 World Cup, Smyth would have seen all action involving most of the players as he co-hosted ESPN International’s “Road to World Cup 2002,” aired in over 150 countries.

Smyth served as a game analyst for ESPN and ESPN2’s coverage of the 1998 FIFA Men’s World Cup in France. He also provided studio analysis for ESPN2’s World Cup 2Night, and ESPN & ESPN2’s pre-game and halftime coverage. Smyth served as a co-host of Latin Futbol Weekly, a weekly South American soccer report that aired weekly on ESPN2, and was seen in more than 200 other countries via ESPN International (1993-99). He called World Cup ’94 action for the One-on-One Radio Network.

Blake Wooster, Head of Business Development, Prozone Sports

Prozone, established in the UK in 1998, has been pioneering the use of performance analysis in football for over a decade and in that time they have worked with some of the leading coaches in the world of sport. They now have offices in the USA, Spain, UAE, India and Japan and offer the world’s leading performance analysis service. From the flexibility offered by real-time, self coding analysis products to the depth and accessibility of information delivered by post-match and opposition analysis services, they deliver reliable and objective performance insights. Prozone software and web applications feature an innovative blend of animation, video content and statistics. This interactive content allows the user to examine every player movement and every event throughout the entire match. Prozones clients include FIFA, The FA, US Soccer, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiacos and US Men’s National Team & Major League Soccer (MLS).

Tony "Tosh" Farrell, Everton FC Head of International Football
Tony "Tosh" Farrell is a head of international football development for English Premier League Everton FC. He is lauded by many as the best youth coach in the country and frequently holds conferences and open days for children to participate including Everton's own "Mini Kickers". Tosh is responsible for the Everton partnerships with Everton FC America and the Ontario Soccer Association. The "Everton Way" online coaching tool is also a brainchild of his, it is the first training programme readily available on the internet. Simon Clifford, founder of Brazilian Futebol de Salão schools in England lauded him as “light years ahead of anyone else”. Howard Wells, IFA Chief Executive was equally impressed with him. “Tony Farrell is one of the most inspirational coaches of young players I have seen. He literally had the children eating out of his hand. The most important ingredient is the investment into coaches and coach education”. Tosh has also been involved with Canadian Soccer Reality Show "Soccer Dreams".
Tosh's coaching career started almost 20 years ago. He began coaching teams on a voluntary basis. He progressed to running an independent centre of excellence for the English FA, a post he held for three years before accepting the offer to coach at Everton's Youth Academy.This was followed by a full time role in the club's Community program for 2 years before moving departments to take up his current role as technical co-coordinator for 9-12 years. Tosh now gives coaching demonstrations to various organizations around the world. This includes an in-service day for the Football Association for Academies in the Premier League on the development of young players. He has seen a number of strong players come through the Everton Academy programme and into the first team. Victor Anichebe, James Vaughan, Jack Rodwell, Jose Baxter and Wayne Rooney have all been excellent examples of the "Everton Way".

Shawn McGee, Atlanta Beat GM

Shawn McGee joins the Beat with an extensive business background in the world of sports. He was Associate Athletic Director of Sales, Sponsorships and Broadcasting at Southern Methodist University from 2007-2009 and was responsible for all ticket sales and additional revenue strategies for the entire athletic department. From those strategies, McGee not only doubled season ticket sales for the University, but he also increased group ticket sales by more than 2,000 percent.

Prior to working at SMU, McGee spent 10 years with MLS franchise FC Dallas where he oversaw all ticket revenue programs and strategic partnerships as Senior Director of Business Development and the Director of Pizza Hut Park. Under his leadership, FC Dallas increased season tickets sales by 62 percent, increased group tickets sales by 208 percent and increased average attendance by 75 percent. For his work at FC Dallas, McGee was named finalist for MLS Director of Sales of the Year for five consecutive years.

Before joining FC Dallas, he served as President and General Manager of the Mesquite Kickers of the USISL and General Manager of the Mesquite Indoor Soccer Center. McGee earned a B.B.A in marketing from the University of Texas and has two boys, Spencer and Larson, with his wife Lisa.

Michael Hitchcock, Managing Partner, Playbook Management International LLC & former FC Dallas GM

Michael began his MLS career with the Anschutz Entertainment Group's D.C. United in 1998, where he started as an entry level Corporate Ticket Sales Representative. He had an immediate impact on their organization as it was recognized in both 1999 and 2000 with an MLS Sales Team of the Year award and he also personally earned the 2000 "MLS Commissioner's New Business Leadership Award". Hitchcock then became the Director of Michael HitchcockSales for the Colorado Rapids. In his first season with the Rapids, Hitchcock's guidance and impact on the ticket sales of the club led him to be recognized as the MLS Sales Director of the Year two years in a row.  He was quickly promoted to Senior Director of Sales and Marketing in his final year in Colorado, and the team's season ticket holder base doubled that season.

After the Rapids were purchased by Kroenke Sports Enterprises in September 2003, Hitchcock elected to stay with the Anschutz Entertainment Group, assuming the position of Vice President of Sales with the Los Angeles Galaxy in October of 2003. In his first season with the Galaxy in 2004, the team averaged a League-high 23,809 fans per game, once again earning Hitchcock the MLS Sales Director of the Year award, and in the process, earning his sales staff the MLS Sales Team of the Year.

The Galaxy once again led MLS in attendance in 2005 with an average of 24,204 fans per game, including 8 sellouts at The Home Depot Center - all the while achieving the highest season ticket base in league history and once again earning him the Sales Director of the Year honors for a record fourth time.

Michael was hired as General Manager of FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park in the Fall of 2005. During his presidency the team and stadium saw tremendous growth in its first full-year of operation, increasing attendance by over 30 percent from the previous year, and drawing over 1.5 million spectators and participants to the complex in 2006 alone.
 

Chris Canetti, Houston Dynamo Chief Operating Officer

Bio coming soon...Chris Canetti saw MLS grow from an upstart operation to a relevant Chris Canettileague during his six years with the MetroStars-turned-Red Bulls. Since joining the Dynamo as COO in May ’06, Canetti has help guide the club following its relocation to Houston from San Jose into a contender for its second consecutive MLS Cup.

 

 

Mike Quarino, Philadelphia Union Vice President of Ticket Sales & Fan Services

Mike Quarino came to Philadelphia Union from the New York Red Bulls (formerly the MetroStars) where he was most recently the club's Senior Manager of Ticket Programs, Quarino oversaw the Group Sales Department and was responsible for the development of programs, execution of events, training and staff management. In 2007 and 2008 Quarino was named to the MLS Ticket Sales Best XI in both Total Revenue and Group Ticket Sales. As Vice President of Ticket Sales & Fan Services for Philadelphia Union, he is responsible for all of the club’s ticket programs and fan service initiatives.

A native of Trenton, NJ, Quarino attended Mount Ida College in Newton Centre, Ma where he graduated in 2001 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a Marketing Minor. While at Mount Ida, Quarino captained the men’s team as a goalkeeper and was named to the N.A.C. All Conference Team in 1999 and 2000. Prior to attending Mount Ida, Quarino was a key member of one of the country’s most renowned junior college soccer programs, Mercer County College in Trenton, NJ (1997-98). In 2006 and 2007 Quarino had several call ups to the New York Red Bulls reserve team, making one appearance in a 3-1 loss to the Kansas City Wizards.

Louise Waxler, Philadelphia Independence Associate GM

Louise Waxler is recognized as one of the bedrock pioneers that has brought women’s professional soccer to the forefront of sports in the United States. Her credentials span executive leadership, operational planning and execution, and corporate construction, as well as sports PR and events management. For more than 20 years, Louise has served in key roles of professional and amateur sports management within the Maryland, DC, and Virginia soccer communities, as well as on the national and international levels for soccer expansion and governance. Most recently, she served as the Director of Operations for the WPS Washington Freedom where she managed all team, venue, and game day operations for the franchise. Louise has been a member of the NSCAA since 1991 and served in several distinctive positions within that organization, including President, Women’s Committee Chairperson, Youth Representative, and Board of Directors.
She was Maryland’s FIFA Women’s World Cup National Coalition Chair and currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association Board of Directors.

Louise is widely recognized and respected for her experience running youth and professional sports and soccer events. She served as Director of the Washington Area Girls Soccer Tournament, RFK Stadium Director for Women’s World Cup Tournament, was a member of the staff at the Adidas/Disney International Youth Soccer Tournament, and served as Director of Discovery Cup Soccer Tournament and Columbia Invitational Soccer Tournament.

Louise Waxler is the 2009 recipient of the highly prestigious NSCAA Award of Excellence. This award was established in 1999 to recognize those who have brought honor and distinction to women’s soccer, the Award of Excellence has been given to some of the most influential individuals in the game.
 

John Print, FIFA Agent

John Print is a licensed football players agent by the FA. He has been involved in the sports industry for over 9 years working in both sports administration (anti-doping and international relations) and numerous sporting commercial roles.
John's passion is in providing high quality sports management and support services for his numerous clients across the globe. His knowledge and contacts within sports marketing allow both clients and brands to maximise their earnings through personal appearances, sponsorship and promotional campaigns. In addition, John is SMWW UK Operations Manager and Director of Soccer. Besides working in football, John also represents a number of Olympic athletes and other sports personalities. His experience of sports marketing and client management allows his clients to maximise their potential whilst competing and away from their chosen sport.
 

Cara Joftis, Philadelphia Union Vice President of Marketing,

Cara Joftis serves as VP of Marketing for Philadelphia Union.  Joftis joined the expansion Major League Soccer organization after serving as the Vice President of Sponsorships and Brand Promotions for Citizens Bank. 
Prior to joining Philadelphia Union, Joftis spent the last six and a half years developing brand messaging for Citizens Bank, most notably for Citizens Bank Park.  The Bucks County native was part of the inaugural team which created unique activation programs at the ballpark, such as Ballpark Bankers and Games of Baseball.  She was also heavily involved with the leveraging of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s USGA and PGA golf championships, working with tour legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Luke Donald and Paula Creamer. 
The 1995 American University graduate previously spent six years as the Sponsorship and Public Relations Manager at Peddler’s Village (Lahaska, Pa.) developing a marketing strategy for the popular shopping, inn and family entertainment center.

Tim Regan, Toronto FC Chief Scout

College Career:
1999-2002 Bradley University
Four time All-Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)
2002 MVC Defender of the Year
2002 NSCAA 2nd team All-American

MLS Career:
2003-2005 MetroStars
2006 Chivas USA
2007 New York Red Bulls
3-time MetroStars Humanitarian of the Year award winner

Steve Powell, Houston Dynamo Senior Vice President Business Development

Steven N Powell is currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. Powell joined the Houston Dynamo in 2006 from the New York Red Bulls (previously the NY/NJ Metrostars) where served as Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales. Prior to entering professional sports, Powell enjoyed a successful career in broadcasting as an on-air personality and as a general manager, including serving as the youngest general manager of a large market station in Arizona .

Powell’s extensive career in professional sports began in 1992 with the Wichita Wings of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). Powell managed the Wichita ,KS based clubs game operations and sponsorship sales activities and oversaw the successful 1995 NPSL All Star Game resulting in the leagues highest ever rated National TV broadcast. In 1996, Powell was appointed General Manager of the Tampa Bay Terror where the team reached the play-offs despite boasting the leagues smallest player payroll. In 1997, Powell joined the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer (MLS). During Powell’s tenure as VP of Sales in Tampa , his department was nominated for "Sales Team of the Year" in 1998 after leading the league in new season ticket sales. Powell also created and launched the now famous “Kicks for Kids” program, and he was nominated for Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s “Best Forty under Forty” honor.

After serving a two-year stint as Chief Operating Officer and VP of Marketing of the World Indoor Soccer League (WISL), Powell joined Hibernian Football Club of the Scottish Premier League and served as commercial director for two years. Powell returned to the USA and Major League Soccer in 2003 to join the San Jose Earthquakes where the club enjoyed success both on and off the field, capturing a league championship in 2003 and establishing several new club records for ticket sales performance.

Powell enjoyed a successful amateur soccer playing career including earning All-League and Player of the Year honors for both Escondido High School (Escondido, CA) and Palomar College (San Marcos, CA). Powell also played in the New Zealand National School Championships representing Hutt Valley (Wellington, NZ) and finishing as his teams top scorer. The pinnacle of Powell's playing career was a trial at English Premier League team, Arsenal in 1979. In Powell's current role with the Dynamo, he oversees all key revenue-generating areas of the business, including sponsorship and tickets sales.

Mark Washo, Washington Freedom President

Mark Washo is currently the President of the Washington Freedom (Women's Professional Soccer) and has more than 17 years of professional sports experience, most recently as the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, (MLS). Mark was the Senior Vice President of the New York-New Jersey MetroStars. (Now the New York Red Bulls). Mark has also worked for D.C. United, Buffalo Bison Baseball, and the Washington Bullets (Wizards). Having experienced the success and rewards of working in an industry he loved, Mark published "Break Into Sports Through Ticket Sales." Mark is on the Sports Management Worldwide Faculty.



Derek Bragg, The Scouting Network, Managing Director (Brimingham, England)

Derek Bragg is the Founder and Managing Director of The Scouting Network, located in Birmingham, England. The Scouting Network is a revolutionary approach to accessing soccer talent. It is the first independent scouting network in international soccer. 

The Scouting Network is a worldwide scouting and consultancy service, supplying confidential player and opposition reports to professional football clubs all over the world including English Premier teams like Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, and Chelsea and UEFA Champions League including Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Milan. Working independently of clubs and agents, The Scouting Network employs regionally based scouts who offer scouting operation beyond teams current capacity. This cost effective and time efficient approach to scouting offers clubs an opportunity to gain additional accurate and independently compiled information. It provides the most extensive scouting reports from around the globe with a database of over 50,000 of players and offers team and individual player assessments to over 60 UK and European soccer clubs. Derek and his trained soccer scouts have scouted soccer players in numerous countries on several continents.

Brian Wellman, President of the Carolina Railhawks FC

 In 2006 Brian joined the USL-1 Carolina RailHawks as AGM serving as the assistant to the President, in that position Brian developed all elements of marketing, web-site, branding and established a successful tradition of exhibition matches with clubs from the Mexican premiership, the EPL, the MLS as well as hosting several CONCACAF international exhibitions.In 2008 Brian took over as President and has seen the RailHawks achieve consistent growth levels in fan base and revenue while producing a winning club led by head coach Martin Rennie. In 2009 the RailHawks tallied 16 wins with 43 goals scored and just 19 against, which was good enough for a 2nd place finish in 2009.Continuing in his role as President in 2010 with leadership from the RailHawks ownership group Brian is currently managing the RailHawks transition into the newly formed NASL which will compete in the USSF-2 conference in 2010. Brian is currently serving on the NASL executive marketing committee focusing on branding, logo and web-development.Prior to joining the RailHawks Brian developed entrepreneurial skills designing and developing a high end restaurant concept, Brian is a former college soccer player and youth coach.

Alex Kotler, Football Partnerships Founder

Alexander Kotler is the founder of Football Partnerships, the leading business-to-business network for soccer industry professionals. A brand strategist, business developer and lifelong soccer player, Alex connects over 3,000 Football Partnerships members worldwide via a website, www.footballpartnerships.com , newsletter, podcast and live, top-level networking events. He also advises soccer-related businesses on new market entry, brand development and resource maximization.
 

Mark Gress, Jr., Co-Op Coordinator, Business Administration & Sport Management, Drexel University

Mark Gress Jr. is currently the Cooperative Education Coordinator for Sport Management and Business Administration at Drexel University’s Career Development Center.  Before joining Drexel, he was a Senior Executive Recruiter at Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, handling retained executive searches. He played a significant role in filling several President, Senior Vice President, Vice President and Director-level positions with some of the top sports properties in the world including: the New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake, the Atlanta Falcons, the St. Louis Blues, the New Meadowlands Stadium Company, Phoenix International Raceway, the Washington Capitals and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. These positions ranged from Ticket and Corporate Sales to Marketing to Communications.  Right now at Drexel, some of my Co-op employer partners have included the Philadelphia Union and Sky Blue FC (and Philadelphia Kixx of the MISL).

Mark Lisi, Sports Marketing Consultant and Player Agent, former MLS Player

Mark Lisi is currently working independently as a marketing and representation consultant.  Previously, he worked with Wasserman Media Group (WMG), a US sports management agency as well as adidas America in their soccer Sports Marketing Department. In his position at adidas, Lisi was central to the brand’s relationship with MLS and player agencies, particularly in the signing of "Generation adidas" and other MLS players to endorsement agreements.  He played six years in MLS, the last five with the NY MetroStars/Red Bulls and retired due to injury.  Lisi was the third overall selection in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by DC United.  He played college soccer at Clemson University where he was a three-time All-American and three-time All-ACC.

 

Brian Bilello, Chief Operating Officer of the New England Revolution

Brian Bilello is in his fourth season as the Chief Operating Officer of the New England Revolution, a position to which he was appointed in April 2006. Prior to that, he served the Revolution, Patriots and Gillette Stadium in a variety of operational and strategic roles.

As Chief Operating Officer, Bilello oversees all aspects of the team’s business operations, including sales, marketing, communications, marketing, broadcasting, special events and operations. He also has guided the team’s strategic vision and its long-term growth plan. His key focus is cultivating new soccer fans – specifically Revolution and Major League Soccer fans – in the New England area, while offering the highest level of service to existing fans.

Tom Veit, President of Philadelphia Union

As President of Philadelphia Union, Tom Veit oversees all business matters relating to the club and stadium. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Veit has a wealth of stadium and event marketing experience. He spent two years with Pace Entertainment of Houston working on motor sports marketing and promotions. In 1993, he joined the Tampa Bay Storm Arena Football League team as director of Marketing and Operations and the team set league attendance records throughout his stay.

In 1996, Veit worked as the director of Sports Networks for Clear Channel Communications, forging deals with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Mutiny, University of South Florida and New York Yankees, helping to transform the young company into a leading regional sports radio network.

With the Tampa Bay Mutiny, Veit was responsible for a record increase in sponsorship and ticket sales revenue. He also introduced the now-popular elements of music, pyrotechnics, lasers and video animation to enhance the in-stadium experience for fans. In 2000, Veit was named General Manager of the XFL’S Orlando Rage. The Rage shined under Veit’s leadership, with a fan base that led the league in paid attendance.

A few years later, Veit moved to his alma mater to become Associate Athletic Director of External affairs. During his term, he oversaw the restructuring of pricing and seating, new major media deals, and a total overhaul of the department’s brand identity, including marks and logos for USF Athletics. As a result, USF moved into the top 50 in licensing ranking, after being outside of the top 100 just one year prior. In addition, Veit spearheaded USF’s mission to acquire a Big East Conference membership. The effort was successful, as USF gained entry into the conference in 2005.

Greg Cotton, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of Kansas City Wizards

Bio coming soon...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Searls, Director of Sales and Fan Services of New York Red Bulls

Richard is entering his seventh season with the New York Red Bulls (MLS), beginning his stint as an Account Executive in 2003 when the team was know as the MetroStars.  Since that time, he has also served as Senior Manager of Ticket Programs and currently oversees the Sales, Fan Services and Ticket Operations Departments.  Richard is also leading the transition of the team and its fans from its current home, Giants Stadium, to its new, $200M soccer-specific stadium, Red Bull Arena, currently under construction in Harrison, NJ. The new arena is scheduled to open in March, 2010 and the Red Bulls will have total control over its 30 suites, 3 Clubs and 1100 Premium seats. Richard is a 1994 graduate of William Paterson University with a degree in Communication and is married with two daughters. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Luxury Suite Directors and enjoys playing golf when he's not too busy.

Jim Risher, Eurotech Soccer Academies & Tours Executive Dir.
Bio coming soon...

Check website daily as we make updates!

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