SBJ/June 20-26, 2011/People and Pop Culture

In the Office: David Wright, VP, global sponsorship, SUM


ALL PHOTOS BY PATRICK E. MCCARTHY

1. A cricket bat given to Wright by Neel Shah, his first hire at MLS who now works for the Dentsu cricket team in India; 2. Photos of his wife and children; 3. A jersey from the 2005 MLS All-Stars match against Real Madrid 4. A plaque from the Indiana Business Careers in Entertainment Club; 5. A ball signed by the 2010 MLS champion Colorado Rapids; 6. A New York Times clipping about Sueño MLS, a televised player search; 7. A bottle of 1994 World Cup wine

 

The soccer memorabilia in David Wright's midtown Manhattan office represent significant moments in MLS history, as well as Wright's own background in the sport. Wright played at the University of Indiana from 1991-95, a stretch when the Hoosiers won four Big Ten titles and played in two NCAA College Cups — the soccer equivalent of the Final Four. He planned to coach professionally but went into sales instead, joining MLS in 2000 as the league fought to gain a foothold with American soccer fans. Among the many items in his office, Wright displays his Indiana jersey, as well as a bottle of 1994 World Cup wine — a gift from SUM President Kathy Carter — that he says he'll open the day the U.S. hosts, or wins, the World Cup.

A poster of the MLS Awards winners in 2000 (left), Wright's first year with the league; a finishers medal from the 2011 Ragnar Relay, a 197-mile relay from Woodstock to Westchester, N.Y.
A Houston Texans football (left) given to Wright in 2004 by Texans President Jamey Rootes; an antique Manchester United soccer ball.
A photo of opening day 2003 at the Home Depot Center, the league's second soccer-specific stadium, reminds Wright of the many steps MLS has taken to reach its current position.
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