|Kathy Carter- President, Soccer United Marketing|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:40
Kathy Carter is President of Major League Soccer’s commercial subsidiary, Soccer United Marketing, where she oversees the sales and servicing of many soccer properties in the United States.
In addition, Kathy serves as the U.S. representative on FIFA's Committee for Women's Football and the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Prior to her position with SUM, Kathy served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), where she helped strike major partnership deals with The Home Depot Center, whilst administering the sponsorship sales division.
Before her time with AEG, Kathy occupied the position of Vice President for Envision, where she opened and managed the firm’s New York office, which focused primarily on facility representation. Carter joined Envision from ISL United States in 2001, where she held the position of Vice President, Sales and Marketing.
Having served as Major League Soccer's Vice President of Corporate Marketing from its beginning until late 1999, Kathy has witnessed the incredible rise of the sport in the United States. Her journey with the League office came after she spent two years with the World Cup USA 1994 organizing committee.
Kathy has picked up numerous awards for her accomplishments in sports business, including the SportsBusiness Journal award, Crain's New York Business Forty Under 40 award and the 2009 Women in Sports and Events (WISE) award.
It certainly wasn’t good news to hear, but I believe in the future of women’s professional soccer. We are very interested to track the progress of the leagues throughout Europe and to learn how their different business models might help us look at a league in the United States differently. Needless to say, we believe the U.S. Women’s National team continues to be among the best in the World, but to continue that we need to figure out how to provide these players with a place to play.
Sports business is still dominated by men, perhaps even more so now with the collapse of the WPS. Do you have any advice for any females wanting to get involved in the sport from both a business and coaching standpoint?
Work hard, make sure to have a voice at the table and follow your passion. I am so fortunate to work in the sport that I love so much and that has played such a big part in my life, from childhood to college and throughout my career. I was positively affected by the passage of Title IX forty years ago this year. I never knew the day when somebody said no to me because of my gender. I was very fortunate. But nothing substitutes for hard work. You have to outwork the competition.
Has SUM it succeeded in its initial aims to consolidate the marketing and commercial rights around soccer?
SUM has done well and been successful, but we still have a lot of work to do. We have assembled a very capable team here that is dedicated to advancing our sport. The soccer marketplace continues to grow. We have Fortune 500 companies that now see the importance of aligning with our sport. Broadcast partners are showing more and more soccer. And, of course, global international clubs continue to see the U.S. as a growth market. Our ability to maximize all of this interest in the sport and continue to grow the fan base remains key to our long term mission.
Has SUM's creation helped companies to market their products more effectively?
Without question. I’d encourage you to speak with executives at Adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, to only name a few. We have also created MLS Digital Properties, the only soccer advertising network of its kind, covering all facets of the sport in the U.S., including professional, youth and news. MLS Digital Properties network allows advertisers to reach millions of American Soccer fans with one ad buy.