Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner Don Garber has confirmed he will be speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention 2015, taking place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, 7th-9th September.
Having been in the role since 1999, Commissioner Garber brought about a change in fortune for the league, ushering it out of a threatening period of financial underperformance and into one of stability and growth. Under Garber’s guidance, the league has expanded to 23 teams across America and Canada, and is well on the way to achieving its goal of 24 teams by 2020, with new franchises awarded to Atlanta and Minnesota.
At the Global Convention, Garber will discuss MLS’ journey from its launch as a 10-club league in 1996 to one of the fastest developing leagues, attracting global stars such as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Villa and Kaka. Garber will also provide insight on the league’s international sponsorship and broadcasting deals, including a new multi-million dollar deal with Sky. With MLS leading the way in respect to fan engagement, Garber will highlight the importance of digital media as a vehicle for connecting with soccer fans globally and the commercial benefits of being at the forefront of enhancing match day experience.
Garber’s involvement is particularly relevant, as 2015 is special for both organisations with Soccerex entering its 20th year and MLS celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie commented: “As we begin the countdown to our 20th anniversary, it is only fitting that Don and MLS are involved in the year they celebrate the same milestone. Both our organisations have enjoyed significant growth during this period and I congratulate Don on the fantastic job he and his team have done in creating such a dynamic and forward thinking league. Don’s insight into MLS’s expansion plans will prove fascinating; I am delighted he has agreed to part of this year’s event and his involvement is indicative of the top level right’s holders that will be featuring in this year’s programme.”
The Global Convention will consist of a thought provoking conference programme packed with business insight, alongside a market-leading international exhibition and extensive networking. A programme of social events completes the schedule for what is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading football business event.