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The MLS Consumer Products, department is seeking a Sr. Director of Licensing Products. The MLS Consumer Products team is responsible for the licensing business, e-commerce, and retailer relationships, supporting on-field equipment needs for MLS clubs and the relationship with Electronic Arts. Video gaming and emerging digital products related to AR, VR, Blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent key growth opportunities for the league.

The candidate will work closely with the VP of Licensing, Consumer Products in the highly collaborative role including strategic planning, business development and execution of the League’s licensees of consumer products strategy. As part of these responsibilities, the Sr. Director will drive the identification, due diligence, execution, and management license deals that meet the strategic, commercial and fan engagement objectives. The Sr. Director will be responsible for establishing best practices, structuring deal terms, and developing new partnerships to ensure MLS in set for growth as we evolve heading to the 2026 World Cup. The ideal candidate will have significant experience evaluating category opportunities, identifying soft and hard goods licensees, deep understanding of deal terms, ability to drive the deal process including negotiating contracts, and managing partners post execution. This is an exciting opportunity to support one of MLS’s key business units and work with stakeholders, partners, and clubs across the league.

The Sr. Director is responsible for managing aspects of licensing relationships including communicating consumer product strategy, directing product development process, and supporting retail placement and promotions in conjunction with SUM CP’s Retail Development Team. The Sr. Director will manage our Fanatics relationship, including sub-licensees and Fanatics Brands.

Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities

  • Support development of consumer products aligned with league strategy. Focused deliverables on soft and hard goods across multiple product categories.

  • Proactively identify and execute business development opportunities across existing partners.

  • Partner with licensees to develop and grow partnership with the goal of driving revenue increasing engagement across key fan segments (e.g., avid, casual, youth) and working across the organization to activate the league wide partnership deliverables.

  • Work closely with licensees to develop and achieve financial plans and KPIs while driving growth strategies for the partnership.

  • Support Club opportunities from product innovation to in retail in conjunction with licensees and retail development.

  • Build and maintain a deep professional network with companies, investors, industry experts and other stakeholders in the softgoods, sports, fashion space.

  • Manage the relationship between key licensees and team management as applicable by property. Facilitating and monitoring all club requirements.

  • Manage and mentor Licensing team develop strong skill sets, partnership relations and initiating growth opportunities

  • Build strategic and tactical changes that drive business strategy and promote licensee efficiency.

  • Demonstrated experience with direct licensee product development process

  • Manage and delivery financial targets to the agreed budget.

  • Be a partner to Finance team to guarantee royalty reporting and financial payments are received in a timely manner.

  • Sound understanding of retail systems and practices

  • Demonstrated understanding of the dynamics and needs of licensing

Additional Responsibilities

  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.

Qualifications

Additional Responsibilities

  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.

Education and Experience

  • 10+ years of prior work experience, with at least eight (8) years of experience in licensing or a related sector

  • Strong professional network within the licensing, manufacturing, consumer products and retail

Required Skills

  • Strategic mindset to building business cases for taking calculated risks to grow consumer products, understanding of business dynamics, and analysis of competitive marketplace.

  • Understanding of product trends and business drivers in licensing and sports culture, including key players, aspirational and accessible products, and retail landscape.

  • Analytical skillset and data-driven approach to decision making.

  • Sound understanding of retail systems and practices

  • Demonstrated understanding of the dynamics and needs of licensing

  • High-energy and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

  • Ability to operate and communicate effectively in a team-oriented and collaborative environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver aggressive KPIs in defined timeframes.

  • Strong analytical, research and financial modeling skills.

  • Ability to lead contract terms and experience working with legal professionals.

  • Strong written and slide development presentation skills for clear communication.

  • Strong communication and presentation skills to interact with both MLS partners and MLS senior leadership.

  • Attention to detail, especially when multi-tasking across various projects in a fast-paced environment.

  • Comfortable juggling multiple projects, prioritizing stakeholder needs, and working under tight deadlines.

  • High-quality interpersonal and influencing skills to work cross-functionally in a complex organization.

  • Comfortable in both large, matrixed organizations, and in lean, “start-up like” environments

  • High-level of commitment to a quality work product and organizational ethics, integrity, and compliance

  • Demonstrated decision making and problem-solving skills

  • Ability to travel (10-20%) and to work non-traditional hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays

  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook

Desired Skills

  • Knowledge of the Spanish Language (business proficiency)

  • Knowledge of the sport of soccer

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