Charlotte FC name Nick Kelly as club president ahead of 2022 MLS launch

Nick Kelly - Charlotte FC - announcement

Charlotte FC continue to build out their front office ahead of entering MLS in 2022, with the expansion side announcing Tuesday that Nick Kelly has been named club president. 

Kelly, who will oversee Charlotte’s day-to-day business operations, joins after six years with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). He was most recently their vice president of partnerships, beer culture and community, overseeing company partnerships in the sports, music and entertainment fields.

“Soccer has arrived in Charlotte, and we have an incredible opportunity to build an organization and a culture of fandom that rivals the top teams in MLS,” Kelly said in a statement. “When I met David Tepper and Tom Glick, I was attracted to the exciting vision they had for what Tepper Sports & Entertainment can be for the Carolinas and I look forward to helping realize that vision with Charlotte FC.”

Kelly has a soccer marketing background, since AB InBev has sponsorship agreements with over a dozen MLS clubs and has partnered with international tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, Olympics, International Champions Cup and Copa America. Under Kelly in 2019, Budweiser became an official partner of the National Women’s Soccer League.

“Nick has a track record of connecting brands with fans across all sports and will bring fresh ideas to Charlotte FC,” owner David Tepper said in a team release. “In the past year, we have assembled a strong sporting staff, led by Zoran Krneta, and have continued to build our business staff. Nick’s hiring comes at the perfect time as we turn our attention to preparing for an exciting first season in 2022.”

Kelly has twice appeared on Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 (2017 and 2020) list, which honors the best young talent in sports business. During his time at AB InBev, Kelly was key in developing sports marketing strategies for league, team and player partnerships within MLS, the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NASCAR, PGA, NWSL, and the Olympics.

“We are delighted to have Nick join us to lead our new Major League Soccer club,” Tom Glick, president of Tepper Sports & Entertainment, said in a release. “He is a highly talented executive with a passion for and understanding of soccer. We kick off in 15 months, and with Nick’s arrival, we are poised to shift gears as we build a winning club that serves fans, partners and our community in Charlotte and across North and South Carolina."