Through its first 5 years of existence, Major League Soccer lost roughly $250M and the 6 original owners were on the brink of folding the league. Cue first time commissioner, Don Garber -- an executive without any soccer experience, with a vision to change the industry forever. That was in 1999. Today, franchises are selling for $325M each, MLS has major media partnerships with ESPN, Fox and Univision, and national sponsorships with Adidas, AT&T, AllState, Audi and Home Depot, to name a few.

It's been a long, rough and windy road, and on the show Commissioner Garber and I discuss how he got here. From changing material rules on the pitch, to creating designated player exemptions that led to the acquisition of global superstars like David Beckham and Zlatan, to coalescing North American soccer properties to form Soccer United Marketing, to investing in ground-up stadium builds...we cover it all. 

This is one of those shows...if you're a young professional or major industry executive, listening to Don Garber will provide you with tips and insights on how to build or shape your career into one that's both effective and fulfilling.

Don Garber

Don Garber

MLS Commissioner and Sports Visionary

Show Notes

3:10 Don's Foundational Years
7:10 What Drew Him to Marketing As A Start
15:05 Developing Managerial Skills
18:30 Getting The MLS Commissioner Role
24:50 Developing An American Version of Soccer
33:40 Landing David Beckham
38:40 Breaking Through Stereotypes
42:15 The Birth of Soccer United Marketing
52:55 Finding The Next MLS Team Owner
60:05 Weighing Profitability Versus Investing In One's Enterprise
64:15 Life After 2020

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