Earlier this month the North American Soccer League announced the partnering with Playbook Management International (PMI), a firm run by former MLS FC Dallas executive Michael Hitchcock. PMI was contracted by the NASL to support each of its teams in ticket marketing and sales.
The NASL is continuing on the path of using experienced and proven front office soccer talent by contracting with both Thom Meredith for league operations and Rich Levy for league branding.
Meredith comes to the NASL with 30 years of sports and principally soccer administration experience. He’s been directly involved in the operational aspects in every major international soccer event held in the United States since 1984.
The 58-year-old Meredith was in charge of Event Operations for the U.S. Soccer Federation in the 1990’s. While there he was responsible for national team event administration and presentation and negotiated stadium rental agreements for over 300 different men’s and women’s national team events staged in 27 states.
His consulting company has served a variety of multi-national clients to date including the US Youth Soccer Association; Royal Bafokeng Sports Holdings and the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg, South Africa in preparation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup; industry leader Transport Graphics International; the Government of Bermuda; Soccer United Marketing and the WPS.
“We’ve contracted with him as an advisor on league operations,” said NASL CEO Aaron Davidson. “He’s responsible for helping us lay down the groundwork, the nuts and bolts if you will, for the league. He’s had experience with pretty much all of the pro leagues in the US and has experience at the federation level as well. He’s assessing what we need in our front office and advising us on that. He’s also assessing each and every one of our individual teams’ front office and their operations. He’ll come back with reports on how to improve them as well. He’s also tasked with helping us find our full time director of operations.”
“Our number one priority was hiring a guy like Thom Meredith to run the league. We interviewed some great prospects for league commissioner at the NSCAA convention. But if the commissioner doesn’t come on sooner rather than later I’ll continue to lead and we will hire someone for operations.”
Davidson said the league has also been working with Rich Levy of 343RLP+ creative Group. Levy served as the Creative Director for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing. While at MLS, he formed the League’s first in-house creative and advertising design department, supporting the diverse brand marketing initiatives, sponsorship and corporate communication needs of SUM’s marketing division. Levy is also responsible for the current design of the MLS Cup trophy.
“Rich has been hired to assist us in our efforts to relaunch the NASL brand in all respects,” explained Davidson. “He unveiled his conceptual designs in Baltimore (the NSCAA Convention in NASL closed door meetings) where we reviewed them in small group committee and we’ve already picked a few concepts that he’s flushing out further. He’s also helping us with our Fort Lauderdale Strikers relaunch.”