ATLANTA — Atlanta United today named Sarah Kate Noftsinger as Vice President and Chief Business Officer. Reporting to Club President and CEO Garth Lagerwey, this newly created position will have Noftsinger responsible for overseeing day-to-day business strategy for the club, including marketing, sales, sponsorship and ticketing. Noftsinger will begin her tenure on Nov. 6.
“As Atlanta United and Major League Soccer continue to grow at an accelerated rate, and with the generational opportunity our organization has in the international soccer business over the next few years, we collectively made a decision to create a new position to lead strategy for our evolving soccer businesses,” Lagerwey said. “Skate has an extensive background in elevating the game throughout her entire career and knows our organization well, making her the perfect candidate for the role. We’re excited for her to return to the organization and look forward to welcoming both her, and her family, back to Atlanta.”
Noftsinger led Atlanta United’s marketing and fan engagement efforts from 2015-20 and re-joins the club after spending the last three years at adidas as the Head of Sports Marketing for Soccer in North America. Part of her role with the club will include stewarding recent gifts to U.S. Soccer from Arthur M. Blank ahead of the federation’s impending relocation to Atlanta. At adidas, Noftsinger was responsible for leading all aspects of adidas’ vital partnership with Major League Soccer, in particular the creation of its comprehensive commercial marketing plan. She also oversaw strategic vision for integrated digital marketing, content, and activation plans across adidas’ football partners in North America. Part of that strategy included developing global player strategies on behalf of the division for several men’s and women’s national team players.
“Atlanta United will always have a special place in my heart and I couldn’t be more excited to re-join the club,” Noftsinger said. “This is truly an exciting time for soccer in our region and a massive opportunity to grow the game alongside U.S. Soccer’s relocation to Atlanta and the 2026 FIFA World Cup coming to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I want to thank Arthur Blank, Steve Cannon and Garth Lagerwey for entrusting me with this position.”
Originally joining the club as Director of Marketing and Fan Engagement, Noftsinger’s work helped guide the club to commercial success that was previously unforeseen in the world of Major League Soccer. Atlanta United broke virtually every attendance record in North America during its first season in 2017, including single-game (71,874), total single-season (819,404) and single-season average (48,200). The club continued to break its own records in each of those categories in the following years and at one point in 2020, it owned each of the Top 10 highest attended crowds in MLS history. During her time with the club, Atlanta United was twice named MLS Marketing Team of the Year while Noftsinger was named MLS Marketing Executive of the Year in 2017. Prior to her time with Atlanta, Noftsinger held numerous roles including Commissioner of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) from 2010-15. The ECNL is widely considered the top female youth soccer league in the United States and one of the most comprehensive elite female development leagues in the world. During her time at ECNL, she grew the league from 40 clubs and 2,000 players to a national powerhouse of 79 clubs and more than 11,000 players.
A graduate of Wake Forest University, Noftsinger was named an All-American during her playing career for the Demon Deacons and went on to play professionally for the Washington Freedom of the Women’s United Soccer Association. After playing, Noftsinger spent time on the development side, serving as an assistant coach at Stanford for five years before leaving for the ECNL. Additionally during that time, she worked with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, assisting on its grassroots soccer program, Soccer For Success. Recently, Skate and her partner Andrea Perez relocated to Atlanta with their newborn daughter, Maverick Rose.
Atlanta United qualified for the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs and will begin its postseason journey on the road Wednesday, Nov. 1 (7:30 p.m., FS1, MLS Season Pass, Star 94.1, La Mejor) against Columbus Crew. Round One of the playoffs is a Best-of-3 format with Atlanta guaranteed to host Columbus in Game Two on Tuesday, Nov. 7 (7:00 p.m. MLS Season Pass, 92-9 The Game, La Mejor) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If there is a Game Three, it will be Sunday, Nov. 12 (7:00 p.m., MLS Season Pass, Star 94.1, La Mejor) in Columbus. All Atlanta United matches are available with an MLS Season Pass subscription, located on the Apple TV app.
Behind The Stripes: Skate Noftsinger
Read the Behind The Stripes feature story on Skate Noftsinger from 2019.