Major League Soccer Commissioner and Soccer United Marketing CEO Don Garber announced Monday that MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis will also serve as the President of Soccer United Marketing's International division, in addition to his league-specific duties.
With SUM now split into two divisions, SUM Enterprises and SUM International, Gazidis' role atop SUM International oversees several areas, including: the procurement and development of competitions and events, broadcast rights, player development programs and image/branding rights for SUM entities. SUM International also will serve as a consultant for business operations and competition-related issues across numerous platforms.
"Ivan's exemplary performance in a number of roles since the League's inception has prepared him well to serve as the president of SUM's International division," said Garber. "His passion for the game and business acumen are integral elements for the MLS and SUM family as we capitalize on the significant opportunities for the sport of soccer both domestically and abroad."
Gazidis has assigned former MLS vice president Nelson Rodriguez to the post of senior vice president, International Business for SUM International. Also, Dr. Joseph A. Machnik was named director of officiating services for SUM International. Last week, Garber named former National Football League executive Doug Quinn as president of SUM Enterprises, where he will be responsible for the development of commercial rights for all SUM properties including corporate partnerships, media sales and licensing of consumer products.
Providing vision on all key strategic and business decisions made by the league, Gazidis oversees all aspects of competition for Major League Soccer, as well as the negotiation and administration of all international and domestic player contracts for the league. Gazidis, with the second-longest tenure of any MLS employee, also manages all day-to-day operations, including stadium event and security issues, disciplinary issues, and player, coaching and refereeing matters.
On the eve of MLS Cup 2003, Gazidis was honored as the recipient of the Commissioner's Award, presented to the group or individual that has made a difference in the League and the sport in America. Joining the league office in April, 1994, two years before the league's inaugural game, Gazidis is also an ex-officio member of MLS' Competition Committee and the Chairman of the League Disciplinary Committee.
In recognition of his extensive experience in the area of player contracts and international transfers, Gazidis sits as an arbitrator on the Court of Arbitration for Sport, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The CAS arbritrates international disputes arising within the field of soccer, among other sports. Gazidis is also co-chairman of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and is responsible for all aspects of this historic and important competition. He also serves on CONCACAF's Statutes and Regulations Committee and on U.S. Soccer's Technical and Rules Committees.