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MLS Atlanta Hires Ann Rodriguez as Vice President of Business Operations

MLS Atlanta today announced the appointment of Ann Rodriguez as Vice President – Business Operations. The appointment is effective June 22.

Reporting to MLS Atlanta President Darren Eales in this newly created position, Rodriguez will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business operations of the franchise, including sales, marketing, ticket operations, fan experience and sponsorship.  She will also work closely with AMB Sports & Entertainment leaders in managing the cross functional groups providing shared services and expertise in communications, public relations and community relations for the Atlanta Falcons, MLS Atlanta and the new Atlanta stadium.

Rodriguez joins MLS Atlanta from NextGen Angels, an investment group focused on early-stage companies, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President in their Washington, D.C., office. In this capacity, Rodriguez was involved in marketing, partnerships, strategy and organizational design, and driving business growth.

Prior to joining NextGen Angels, Rodriguez was Global Category Director for soccer and lacrosse at Under Armour, where she led Under Armour’s entry into the Barclay’s Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and secured Colo Colo of Chile as the brand’s first soccer team in South America.  Rodriguez also led strategy for the apparel division and worked on projects in product development, operations and distribution.

“Ann brings with her an extensive and impressive background in sports and entertainment marketing and is an expert in the business of global soccer and Major League Soccer in particular,” said Eales. “We are fortunate that she will be joining our team in the formative stages of our development, and we look forward to drawing on her expertise as we create our club and our brand.”

Before joining Under Armour, Rodriguez served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the San Jose Earthquakes, where she led the ticket and sponsorship sales teams and was integral in developing club branding, fan experience models and venue development.

“It is a privilege to join the MLS Atlanta organization. The team has already experienced tremendous support from the soccer fans of Atlanta and the AMB Sports & Entertainment organization has a terrific reputation in the industry. I look forward to working with Darren and the rest of the team to build a great club, brand and experience for our players and fans.”

A native of Annapolis, MD, Ann has a B.A. degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She has also served as a faculty member at Georgetown University’s sports industry management program and as an assistant professor at George Washington University’s FIFA World Cup 2010 class in South Africa.

About MLS Atlanta

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber awarded the city of Atlanta the 22nd MLS club on April 16, 2014. The team will begin play in the new Atlanta stadium set for completion in 2017. The stadium will configure to MLS and FIFA requirements and will feature a draping system allowing for a more intimate, highly‐charged soccer atmosphere.

The team, owned by Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank, has garnered tremendous fan support in its first year through its Founders Club season ticket program. Over 20,000 seat deposits have been made to date for the club’s opening season.