SBD/August 18, 2014/Franchises

Crew Complete New Front Office Structure, Name Loughnane President Of Business Ops

Loughnane said a local business could use a naming-rights deal for brand growth
The Crew on Saturday “completed its front-office makeover” by naming of Palace Sports & Entertainment VP/Corporate Relationships Andy Loughnane as the MLS club's President of Business Operations, according to Adam Jardy of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Crew Chair Anthony Precourt said, “For the first time in our history, we have a structure. We have a leader of our soccer operations and a leader of our business operations. [Crew coach & Sporting Dir Gregg Berhalter] will be reporting directly to me and is doing a fantastic job. I’m thrilled with the progress that we’re making in terms of our product on the field.” Precourt said that “finding someone with local ties was one of the lead criteria,” as Loughnane previously worked with the Blue Jackets. Jardy noted the Crew have a “list of goals deemed critical to its long-term financial viability.” Selling naming rights to Crew Stadium is “atop the list, along with increasing the season-ticket base and strengthening ties to the local business community” (DISPATCH.com, 8/16). Loughnane: “This is a building that is deserving of a naming-rights partner. If you think about it, there’s an Ohio company out here that could use Crew Stadium as an opportunity to grow their brand alongside our growing brand, our growing sport, our growing league, and the additional events we host here” (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 8/17).

FITTING TRIBUTE: SI.com’s Brian Straus noted Berhalter wanted retiring Galaxy F Landon Donovan “honored, and he wanted him honored the right way” prior to the teams’ match Saturday night. Berhalter “asked to listen to the music selected to accompany the Crew’s video salute to Donovan and found it wanting.” He “desired a more moving piece, one that would reflect the gravitas of the occasion.” Berhalter “paid close attention to the gift given by the club.” There were conversations with members of the Crew’s front office “before they decided on a frame featuring a photo, a list of Donovan’s senior appearances at Crew Stadium and a piece of the net into which he scored” his final int’l goal. Berhalter said, “This is his first game in an away stadium since he announced his retirement. Landon might not be that comfortable with it, but it’s the right thing to do” (SI.com, 8/17).
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