Director - Player Engagement & Welfare
Charlotte Football Club mission is to be a unifying force that is bigger than one city and encourage a sense of belonging through a progressive, collective, and ambitious approach that guides efforts on and off the pitch. CLTFC is committed to driving growth through sport and community outreach. Charlotte FC’s home is Bank of America Stadium which provides an elite venue for MLS matches and a unique experience for players and fans. Charlotte FC is owned by David Tepper and is a part of Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which also includes Bank of America Stadium and the Carolina Panthers. For more information, visit CharlotteFootballClub.com.
The Player Engagement & Welfare Director is critical to the team’s success in managing its most valuable assets – its players. This role will oversee the performance of a variety of executive, professional and administrative duties in support of the day- to-day soccer operations/administration of the club. The Player Engagement & Welfare Director is responsible for promoting high standards of professionalism, while being actively involved in the off-the-pitch development of each player at Charlotte FC.
This position will lead the execution of the Player Engagement and Welfare Department’s strategy, while serving as the principal liaison to other business units at the club, MLS, and MLSPA. The executive will facilitate career transition, personal counseling services, and player participation in various MLS, MLSPA, and club-supported programs and service offerings. In addition to working with active players on the roster, the executive may have the opportunity to oversee the club's alumni relations and former player outreach initiative. The Director functions in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment, serving as a conduit of communication between players, coaches and club executives.
The position reports to the Technical Director.
Player Relations & Development
Oversee the Player Engagement & Welfare Department – Academy, Next Pro team, and First Team.
Build and maintain credibility, trust and respect of club employees, executives, coaches, players, and their families, to assess player needs, establish programming objectives, and maximize participation in and effectiveness of MLS Player Engagement Programs.
Act as a liaison between players and internal and external constituents (e.g. club staff, corporate partners, etc.) and work with soccer affiliates (e.g. MLS, MLSPA, etc.) on programs and initiatives.
Provide pro-active mentoring, counsel, encouragement, creative problem solving, and crisis intervention for players, coaches, support staff, and their families.
Implement comprehensive, strategic, innovative, and individualized plans and programs to better position players to succeed beyond the field – most commonly through education, mentorship, and encouragement of use of team, league, and players association resources and participation in programs aimed at addressing both the needs and the interests of players - focused on but not limited to mental health and wellness, professional and personal development, continuing education, and financial literacy.
Maintain on-going year-round contact with players, in both individual and group settings.
Broaden and strengthen development offerings, resources, and effective communication thereof.
Strategically and consistently evaluate the development progress of each member of the team.
Provide proactive mentoring, crisis intervention, encouragement, and creative problem solving for players and their eco- system.
Consistently and effectively respond to personal player issues with empathy and refer players and their families to qualified resources for assistance when appropriate.
Create and organize ongoing team building and development programming.
Stay current on all league and players association policies and programs related to players and their families.
Maintain working knowledge of MLS policies, including but not limited to the MLS Personal Conduct Policy.
Use club and local resources to implement innovative career development, financial education, and transition assistance programs that may serve as a model for league-wide implementation.
Implement and facilitate MLS and MLSPA programs and initiatives at the club.
Create, develop, and maintain a network of resources for the organization.
Work in close partnership with the team clinician(s) on team’s player wellness program, including but not limited to clinician referrals, development and implementation of resources and services, and overall mental health innovation within soccer operations.
Proactively engage with players (and their family members) with foresight to flag potential looming or active mental health challenges and mental well-being needs.
Aides with player, coach, and staff family programming to develop a welcoming environment and positive culture within the club.
Actively seek, establish, and communicate relevant (internal and external) resources.
Collaborate closely on on-boarding and family needs.
Coaches & Front Office
Serve as the conduit for communication between players, coaches, club executives as needed.
Liaison between players and various internal departments (outlined below) and stakeholders.
Available as a personal and professional sound board for coaches and staff.
Work alongside club security to develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders in the city to minimize risk of player off field incidents.
Develop process for reporting player incidents, issues, and concerns.
Collaborate with team security to ensure players are equipped with pertinent, beneficial, needed and required information and resources.
Coordinate with security department and management council to reduce, manage, and mitigate off-the-field incidents.
Maintain working knowledge of federal and state laws, including but not limited to narcotics and weapons laws. Community Relations
Plan and host special events and programs to bring active and former players together in the marketplace.
Promote player engagement initiatives with players, spouses, coaches, club executives, corporate partners, community groups, etc.
Partner and assist the community relations department to support player driven philanthropy programs. Alumni Relations
Assist players in the transition out of the organization and the MLS.
Collaborate with player transition.
Provide continuing support for team alumni in the areas of continuing education and professional development.
Develop strategic goals for department and advise club executives on a range of player welfare related issues.
Guide departmental strategic planning, operations, budget, and analytical research.
Handle sensitive and confidential information with absolute discretion.
Represents the organization at meetings, social functions, and external events in a positive manner.
Collaborate with MLS Player Engagement staff to establish clear and common goals, including performance targets and action items.
Active leader on discussions and solutions on social issues working diligently to advance the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the organization.
Manage departmental budget, monitor direct spending and allocations from the budget for player engagement programs, services, and products.
Attend league meetings, monthly calls, and other events as required and directed.
Making decisions by exercising discretion and independent judgment, resolving problems, and issues with players, coaches, and administrative staff.
Facilitate special projects as needed.
All other duties as assigned.
Qualifications (educational, experience and basic knowledge requirements):
Bachelor’s degree required.
5+ years working in professional or collegiate sports, athlete development experience preferred.
3+ years in a management or leadership role.
Experience in training and program development, risk management and/or human resources.
Demonstrated experience in building and executing team/player programs.
Must have strong skills in managing and showcasing a high degree of sensitivity around unique, diverse and confidential player and club issues while solving problems and facilitating club objectives.
Resourceful in the utilization of qualified professionals to meet player needs.
Proactive in their approach to player engagement.
Master's degree or advanced degree
Experience as a coach, player, athletic administrator, human resources administrator, organizational development consultant, or counselor.
Skills for Success
Must have a natural sense of ownership for duties and deadlines, as well as drive for continuous improvement in self and others.
Be a strategic and critical thinker who is dynamic, forward thinking, and well organized.
Professional demeanor with strong work ethic.
Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills, ability to communicate effectively at all levels both internally and externally.
Problem solver and creative thinker with the ability to manage a high level of detail across multiple projects.
Decision maker, able to exercise independent judgement and discretion with integrity and accountability.
Superior leadership skills.
Works well within in a collaborative, team-driven, and goal-based environment.
Works well under pressure while maintaining a positive attitude.
Must maintain complete confidentiality of privileged, and/or sensitive information.
Must, at all times, display the character and values of the Tepper Sports & Entertainment brand.
Work Environment and Physical Requirements
Must be able to lift and carry up to 25 lbs.
Ability to remain sitting for up to 8 hours at a desk and computer.
Ability to remain standing/walking for up to 8 hours.
Ability to climb stairs.
Ability to work both indoors and outdoors, and endure weather conditions, including rain, wind, high and low temperatures, etc.
Must be able to work in non-traditional settings, and work non-traditional hours including nights, weekends, and holidays.
Charlotte FC is an equal opportunity at-will employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of age, race, religion, color, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin.