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Volume 21 No. 6
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Lencheski to manage global sponsorship sales for MP & Silva

Attempting to establish as much credibility in North America as it has overseas, media rights agency MP & Silva has brought on sports industry veteran Chris Lencheski to head global sponsorship sales.

Lencheski has been a senior adviser to MP & Silva’s management and board of directors since 2015.

“We want to grow this [sponsorship] silo to match the size of the media business,” Lencheski said. “And by bringing a real focus to the U.S., where we’re building, and looking at the large opportunities overseas, where we have an established media rights business, I think we can do that.”

MP & Silva’s sponsorship revenue represents less than 10 percent of the company’s overall revenue, Lencheski added.

Lencheski will be based in New York and manage the company’s global sponsorship sales team. American clients represented by the company include Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Miami Heat, for which MP & Silva is trying to sell a uniform advertising patch, and the New York Red Bulls, who are offering naming rights for their 25,000-seat stadium in Harrison, N.J.

Lencheski has more than 24 years of sports industry experience. Until June, he was vice chairman and CEO of IRG Sports & Entertainment, which owns and runs the International Hot Rod Association. Before that, he was president of Comcast Spectacor subsidiary Front Row Marketing.

Lencheski’s hiring is the latest in what has been an eventful, if not tumultuous, period for MP & Silva.

Last May, Chinese brokerage firm Everbright Securities and digital entertainment company Baofeng Technology combined for a billion-dollar purchase of 65 percent of MP & Silva. In the U.S. since last year, MP & Silva has hired Frank Uddo from WWE as North American president; lost Dan Cohen, managing partner/senior vice president for the Americas, to Octagon, which is launching a media consulting business; hired Jesse Ryback as vice president of sponsorship and then lost him to WME-IMG; and made an aggressive run at MLS rights, offering to quadruple that league’s current media rights deal in exchange for installing the type of promotion/relegation system common in European soccer. MLS flatly rejected the offer earlier this summer.