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September 19, 2023

Hartford Athletic names new CEO

Hanna Snyder Gambini Nick Sakiewicz is the new CEO of the Hartford Athletic

A former professional goalkeeper, sports executive and founding member of Major League Soccer, has been tapped as the new CEO of the Hartford Athletic professional soccer club.

Nick Sakiewicz is replacing former CEO Jim Burda, who left the team in March after three years on the job. 

Sakiewicz, according to the Athletic, brings a knowledge of the game and a long history of building the sport within the U.S. after joining Major League Soccer as a founding executive in 1995, and serving as first vice president of commercial sponsorship sales. 

From 1997 to 2006, he was president and general manager of both inaugural MLS teams in Tampa and New York. 

According to the Athletic, Sakiewicz played a key role in the sale of the NY/NJ MetroStars to the Red Bull energy drink company that included the naming rights sale of the team and stadium, Red Bull Arena, in Harrison, N.J. 

Sakiewicz helped build two stadiums as part of large-scale urban redevelopments in Philadelphia and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.

In 2006, Sakiewicz co-founded Keystone Sports & Entertainment and assembled the investors who eventually became the ownership group of Major League Soccer’s 16th expansion team, the Philadelphia Union, for which he also established a youth academy.

Key focus areas for the Athletic, and now Sakiewicz as CEO, are ticket sales, fan perks and the youth academy, said Athletic Chairman and co-founder Bruce Mandell.

Sakiewicz “has the skills and track record of success necessary to move our club forward by building a competitive team on the field, establishing a best-in-class youth academy, and deepening our roots in the community,” Mandell said.

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