SBJ/February 12 - 18, 2007/Marketingsponsorship

MLS execs create the sum of SUM’s parts

Major League Soccer has completed a consolidation of Soccer United Marketing, bringing its domestic and international business operations under one director.

Doug Quinn

Formerly known as SUM Enterprises and SUM International, MLS’s domestic and international business operations will be one operation, and Doug Quinn, who has been president of SUM Enterprises, will oversee it.

The move frees up MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis, who previously oversaw SUM International, to focus on improving league play. His efforts shifted in that direction last year, when he was charged with garnering owner-operator support for the designated-player rule, which allowed the Los Angeles Galaxy to sign David Beckham.

“This was a move we were ready to make,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “It allowed us to take two very important people to the organization and allow them to focus on businesses that are very key to our organization’s future.”

New York-based SUM, which was founded in 2002, represents all commercial rights for MLS and is the largest promoter of international soccer matches in the United States, including being the exclusive U.S. promoter and marketing representative for the Mexican national team. It also is responsible for the newly created SuperLiga, an eight-team tournament pitting MLS teams against Mexico’s top professional teams.

As president of SUM, Quinn will oversee all of those operations and sponsorship sales. He also will be looking to further expand operations abroad by securing new international TV rights and exploring a possible Pan-Pacific program that would bring MLS teams to Japan, China and Australia for a tournament.

“The Australians have already said ‘We’re in,’” Quinn said. “We’re just trying to figure out the best place to play it.”

Taking over many of Quinn’s responsibilities with SUM Enterprises will be Kathy Carter, who was named executive vice president of SUM. Others who will report to Quinn include Nelson Rodriguez, senior vice president of international business and operations; Stu Crystal, vice president of consumer products and marketing; and Dan Courtemanche, senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Quinn joined Soccer United Marketing in May 2004, after 14 years with the NFL. He has been credited with spearheading MLS’s 10-year, $100 million deal with Adidas and with helping to secure long-term national television deals with ABC/ESPN, Univision, Fox Soccer Channel and HDNet.

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