Chief Marketing Officer
A recognized brand builder and transformational leader for more than 25 years, Howard Handler was named chief marketing officer of Major League Soccer in January, 2012. Handler oversees marketing, digital, programming and content, CRM and fan insights and special events for the League.
Handler has built and burnished the brands and businesses of some of the most noted companies in the world including The Madison Square Garden Company, the artists of EMI Music, Virgin Mobile, The National Football League, MTV, Saturday Night Live and The Quaker Oats Company.
Prior to joining MLS, Handler served as executive vice president, marketing and sales at The Madison Square Garden Company. In this role, Handler served as the strategic leader and head of brand management, ticket sales, social/digital strategy, and customer relationship management across all venues, and properties. Prior to joining MSG Entertainment, Handler was the executive vice president for North America for EMI Music where he served as the head of marketing for their roster of recording artists in the U.S, Canada and Mexico.
Handler was the chief marketing officer for Virgin Mobile USA where he led marketing, strategy, offer and product development, sales, business development and media relations. Handler played a central role in growing the subscriber base from 300K to 5M, revenues from $180M to $1.2B, the JD Power award for the #1 wireless service and an Initial Public Offering in October 2007.
Handler was also the CEO for Burly Bear Network, a start-up cable network and youth marketing company, where he more than tripled revenues in two years before selling the business to National Lampoon.
Handler was senior vice president of marketing and fan development for The National Football League. During his six-year tenure, he led the creation of the league's first imaging campaign, "Feel The Power," developed the NFL's integrated youth initiative, "Play Football," and built up the company's retail division with the introduction of the "NFL Shop."
Earlier, Handler served as senior vice president of marketing for MTV where he played a central role in the launch of "Beavis & Butthead," "The Jon Stewart Show," "The Real World," and the Peabody Award-winning "Choose or Lose" voter awareness campaign. While at MTV, he was recognized as one of America’s Top 100 Marketers by Advertising Age.
Prior to MTV, Handler was vice president of marketing for Broadway Video Entertainment, producers of "Saturday Night Live," and “Wayne’s World -- The Movie”. He launched his career in brand management at The Quaker Oats Company in Chicago.
Originally from Detroit, Handler holds a bachelor's degree and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.