Goodman departs NBA to lead NYCFC’s business
When Brad Sims joined NYCFC as chief executive a year ago, it was apparent to him that the only way to move the team’s business forward was by improving top-line revenue across ticketing, sponsorships and premium sales. That marked a notable change from the strategy of maximizing efficiencies and reducing expenses that had predated Sims’ arrival.
For Sims, that new focus continues with the hiring of Matt Goodman as chief commercial officer and COO. The move makes Goodman, formerly senior vice president within the NBA’s team marketing and business operations group, NYCFC’s second highest ranking executive.
“There’s very few people who have that well-rounded profile,” Sims said when listing Goodman’s credentials, from previously leading ticket sales teams in minor league baseball, overseeing premium sales and hospitality at the Madison Square Garden Co. and managing a sponsorships group for the Cleveland Browns.
Sims added that Goodman’s five-plus years with the NBA afforded him additional exposure to other business verticals, including marketing and analytics/business intelligence, both of which he’ll also oversee for NYCFC along with youth partners. His immediate to-do list begins with cementing a Manhattan-based sponsorships team — including hiring a lead for new business — that is dedicated solely to selling NYCFC. It’s a group that didn’t previously exist, says Sims.
“We were missing a big opportunity to bring on local companies and local partners, to be focused not just on seven- and eight-figure deals but on six-figure deals and maybe high five-figure deals,” he added.
Goodman’s relationship with Sims dates back more than a decade, to when he was at MSG while Sims had a role in the NBA’s TMBO group. The two then overlapped briefly in Cleveland, where Goodman had a brief 15-month stint as a vice president with the Browns while Sims was in the midst of a long run as the Cavaliers’ chief revenue officer.
“To be part of a — I won’t say turnaround — but I like to think of us as a challenger brand when you consider the age of our team relative to the age of the other teams in New York,” Goodman said. “The club is only 5 years old. It obviously has its own unique set of opportunities, and to me, that was the most interesting part. I like that story.”