USL President Jake Edwards (right) will again be a guest speaker at the 2019 Soccerex USA, to be held in Miami on November 21-22. | Photo courtesy Soccerex
MIAMI – Soccerex announced on Thursday a new institutional partnership with the United Soccer League (USL), the North American governing body which oversees the USL Championship, USL League One, and USL League Two, accounting for more than 100 member clubs.
Under the partnership, Soccerex will work with USL to help provide industry insight and networking opportunities for its franchises at Soccerex events, starting with Soccerex USA in Miami, November 21-22. USL Executive Vice President Court Jeske will take up a position on the Soccerex USA Advisory Board to help add insight and shape the program and USL President Jake Edwards will speak at the conference to discuss how USL and its member franchises are growing fanbases through building their own unique identities.
USL Executive Vice President Court Jeske
“We’re thrilled with this new partnership,” said Jeske. “Our clubs are growing rapidly, particularly in commercial areas, so the opportunity to connect our league with Soccerex provides a tremendous vehicle for club engagement within the international soccer arena.”
Originally founded in 1986, USL has become one of the most sophisticated soccer organizations in North America over the past decade, which led to the USL Championship being awarded full second tier status by the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2018. The organization’s growth, led by Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis, has been underpinned by a proactive commercial approach that recently saw it become of one of the first U.S. sporting bodies to allow betting and gaming sponsors on team jerseys following the removal of the federal ban on sports betting last year.
The organization’s growth was also reflected in the recently announced three-year renewal of its television partnership with broadcast leader ESPN. Under the expanded agreement, 19 USL Championship games will be featured in over-the-air broadcasts annually, with ESPN+ serving as the national streaming home for both the Championship and USL League One.
The league also boasts an impressive range of ownership groups that includes investors from NBA and MLB franchises plus business leaders and other sporting stars, such as legendary Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
Commenting on the new partnership, Soccerex Managing Director Philip Gegan said:
“It is fantastic to add USL to our roster of institutional partners and supporters for Soccerex USA. The progressive approach of the league and the speed – and success – of their recent expansion has been highly impressive and we are very much looking forward to working with Alec, Jake, Court and all the team at USL to help the league and their franchises further this growth.”
Returning to Miami for a second year, Soccerex USA will take place the magnificent JW Marriott Turnberry Resort and, in addition to USL, is hosted in partnership with Concacaf, MLS, U.S. Soccer, the Mexican Football Federation, NWSL and LaLiga. The two-day soccer business event will focus on the growth of soccer across the Americas and features a program that includes MLS Commissioner Don Garber and senior leaders from organizations such Bayern Munich, Dunkin Brands, LAFC, Real Madrid, Minnesota United, PSG and Sony. For more information on the event, including the latest program and speaker line-up, please go to www.soccerex.com.