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Volume 23 No. 23
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Forty Under 40: Camilo Durana

Photo: mls
Photo: mls
Photo: mls

Now entering its 24th season, Major League Soccer has been on an astronomic growth curve. It’s Camilo Durana’s job to make sure the league’s events keep pace.

Senior Vice President, Properties and Events, Major League Soccer

Age: 38

Born: Bogota, Colombia

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., political science and Latin American studies

Family: Wife, Kimberly; son, Henrik (1); dog, Thumbelina (5)

Profession you’d most like to attempt: Architect. I relish great spaces and spend more time browsing through real estate apps than I care to admit. 

Guilty pleasure: McConnell’s Turkish Coffee Ice Cream.
Something that your friends would consider “so you”: Leaving 5 minutes early to beat the crowds.

Cause supported: Social Tees Animal Rescue. They do inspiring and incredibly important work.

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Richard Branson. I’ve always admired his vision and ambition.

Sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Diversifying its workforce.

Most thrilling/adventurous thing you’ve done … : 20 days in the Alaskan wilderness.

We’d be surprised to know that … : I captained my high school curling team in Montreal.

“MLS has one of the most sought-after fan bases,” Durana said. “We want to make sure we’re spending a lot of time engaging our fans in the ways that they want, and investing in the things that accomplish that.”

In 2018, that meant new events like MLS’s first leaguewide esports platform, eMLS, which delivered the most-viewed EA FIFA qualifier event in the world, as well as the launch of the Campeones Cup, a new annual competition between the champions of MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX. 

It also meant changes to some of its marquee events, including the All-Star Game. Held last year in Atlanta alongside a bolstered slate of programming and sponsorship activation, the game drew 72,317 fans, the most-attended game in MLS All-Star history. Durana and his team also oversee the development of Soccer United Marketing events and the commercial platforms for its partners, including the Mexican national team’s U.S. tour, which in 2018 averaged more than 63,000 fans for its five games.

Durana said the year ahead will include an expansion of MLS’s events as well as the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the U.S.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the fan and their experience,” he said. “Our goal is just keep laddering up the events, making them bigger and better for the fans.”