Dave Hopkinson Leaves MLSE To Run Real Madrid Business Ops
MLSE Chief Commercial Officer DAVE HOPKINSON is "quitting Canada’s largest sports holding company to run the business operations" of La Liga club Real Madrid, according to Rick Westhead of TSN.ca. He is "expected to join Real Madrid within a month and his departure will send shock waves through the Canadian sports industry." Former MLSE President & CEO TIM LEIWEKE said, "Real Madrid is as big a brand as there is in our industry. Normally you’d have a hard time finding someone who could make it better. They just did." Westhead noted Hopkinson began working with the Raptors in '94 and would "eventually become one of MLSE’s top business-side executives, responsible for many of the sports company’s biggest successes." Toronto-based marketing firm MKTG CEO BRIAN COOPER said, "I marvel at his skill set. I've seen him go from ticketing to becoming one of the most sophisticated, prepared sports executives in North America." Westhead reports it is "unclear how MLSE will fill Hopkinson’s position," but MLSE Senior VP/Sales & Services TOM PISTORE is "well regarded in the industry and could be a possible replacement" (TSN.ca, 6/11).