Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada and began play in 1996, shortly after the U.S. hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Now in its 27th season in 2022, MLS continues to grow at an explosive rate, as the league features record-breaking attendance, an influx of dynamic players, and billions of dollars recently invested in new soccer-specific stadiums and training facilities. New franchises have recently launched in Miami, Nashville, Austin, and Charlotte with St. Louis joining next. The League is aggressively expanding its influence and relevance with new youth and developmental leagues as well as a joint-venture with Liga MX, leading to new media deals like the game-changing 10-year global partnership with Apple starting in 2023.
About Soccer United Marketing
The commercial arm of MLS, Soccer United Marketing (SUM) is the exclusive sales and marketing partner (i.e. rights holder) of the League as well as several other preeminent North American soccer properties – Concacaf Club and National Team competitions, U.S. Soccer Federation, Mexican National Team, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup (i.e., joint ventures with Liga MX). SUM is at the forefront of the sport’s commercial development, and it’s the engine driving the League and its partner properties towards a successful run-up and legacy following the 2026 World Cup.
As a member of MLS/SUM team, the Director, Brand Alliances will be responsible for strategizing, building, and executing an end-to-end partnership sales and retention strategy from short-term to long-term. Based in New York, this position will work hand in hand with the Vice President, Brand Alliances to build sponsorship strategy and cultivate c-level relationships to bring value and profitability to grow the sport’s relevance, engage fans and maximize enterprise revenue. This role will specifically help lead new enterprise sales efforts for the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) as well as Concacaf, home to the Men and Women’s Gold Cup, Champions League, Nations League Finals, and other premier regional Club and National Team competitions.
Prospect, develop, and sell new integrated business partnerships to accomplish sales goals.
Develop deep, meaningful relationships with national decision makers at brands that lead to long-term partnerships supporting the aforementioned properties and other strategic priorities for the League and greater SUM enterprise.
Deliver strategic sales presentations and tailored business solutions to senior-level executives at prospective clients and agencies, while incorporating media, integrated platforms, and other benefits into such opportunities.
Engage and collaborate with the enterprise (other departments, property constituents, MLS clubs, senior management, etc.) to close deals that deliver value beyond monetary benefit.
Negotiate sponsorship deals from conversation inception to final contract.
Create and effectively maintain reporting documents in an organized manner.
Develop and track new revenue pipeline to present to senior leadership on a weekly/monthly basis.
Develop innovative platforms and programs that enhance the fan journey and drive incremental revenue for MLS/SUM; take leadership in the creation of sales materials.
Manage the relationship with Commercial Sales leads at Mexican Football Federation and Concacaf.
Attend networking and promotional events to develop and maintain contact with potential clients and professional partners.
Provide day-to-day oversight and take a team sales approach with Manager(s) and Coordinator(s) to help those individuals meet and exceed annual performance goals.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s Degree Required. Advanced degree preferred.
8+ years of professional sponsorship experience in a high-performance sales environment; Sports, Entertainment, and/or Arena Industry experience preferred.
Essential Skills and Qualifications
75+ existing “decision maker” brand contacts at the national level and agency relationships.
Knowledge of sports and entertainment sponsorship, including promotions, events, media, and contracts.
Ability to take a client through the entire sales funnel, from lead generation to closing.
Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, team environment and form strong relationships with colleagues, clients, agencies, and sports organizations.
Ability to navigate and collaborate with counterparts in other functional areas including but not limited to other departments that require meaningful interaction including Marketing, International / Events, Media, Digital, Club Services, Competition, Consumer Products, Legal, and Finance.
Superior business and negotiating skills.
Strong presentation skills.
Experience with the development and execution of dynamic and effective platforms.
Familiarity with the standard demographic research & analytics tools (i.e., Scarborough, YouGov, MRI-Simmons, etc.) and ability to derive insights from the data.
High-level commitment to quality work product and organizational ethics, integrity, and compliance.
Self-starter, but team player with the ability to work against both aggressive individual and department sales goals.
High-energy, self-motivated with a solutions-oriented mindset.
Proven experience managing and motivating a team.
High proficiency in Microsoft Office Tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook)
Ability to travel and to work non-traditional hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays
Desired Skills (but not required):
Strong familiarity with sports, especially soccer