Darren Eales named Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year by MLS

Atlanta United president Darren Eales has been named the 2017 Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year by Major League Soccer Thursday. He received the annual award at Major League Soccer’s year-end award ceremony that recognizes individuals and clubs for outstanding contributions off the playing field, highlighting a night of recognition for the club that won a league-five awards.

Under Eales’ leadership, Atlanta United had one of the most successful expansion club launches in professional sports history. The club broke multiple league records including single-season average attendance (49,257), season tickets sales (36,000-plus), single-game attendance (71,874) and total home attendance (819,404). The club also set numerous records on the field including goals scored by an expansion team in its first season (70) and goal differential (+30), fourth best in MLS history.

Atlanta United's five awards –– including other winners in ticketing, marketing, and administration –– were followed by several clubs winning two awards: Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 

2017 MLS Club and Executive Award Winners:

Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year – Darren Eales, Atlanta United
Ticket Sales Executive of the Year – Don Rovak, Atlanta United
Marketing Executive of the Year – Sarah Kate Noftsinger, Atlanta United
Marketing Team of the Year – Atlanta United
Team Administrator of the Year presented by Sportscorp Travel – Manny Tejeda, Atlanta United

Additional award winners

Corporate Partnerships Executive of the Year – Chris Shewfelt, Toronto FC
Ticket Sales Team of the Year – Seattle Sounders FC
Corporate Partnerships Team of the Year – Portland Timbers
Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Club of the Year presented by MLS WORKS – New York Red Bulls
Public Relations Team of the Year – Sporting Kansas City
Club Retailer of the Year – Columbus Crew SC
Platform Activation of the Year – TBD
Business Analytics Team of the Year – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Enhanced Lead Scoring)
Ticketing Sales Impact Award presented by the National Sales Center powered by SeatGeek – Chicago Fire (Outside Sales Program)
Digital Team of the Year – Philadelphia Union
Social Media Activation of the Year – D.C. United (Last Call at RFK)
Digital Content Experience of the Year – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Becoming Canadian: The Alphonso Davies Story)
Best Use of Access in Content - Chicago Fire (Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Arrival)
Security Team of the Year – Orlando City SC
Operations Staff of the Year – New York Red Bulls
Supporter Management Team of the Year – Sporting Kansas City
Athletic Training Staff of the Year presented by Mueller Sports Medicine – Houston Dynamo
Equipment Manager of the Year – Daniel Laroche, New York City FC