Atlanta United today won a league-high seven awards at Major League Soccer’s 2018 year-end Club Executive Awards ceremony that recognizes individuals and clubs for outstanding contributions off the playing field. The ceremony was highlighted by President Darren Eales being recognized as the Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year, the second consecutive year Eales has won the award.
Under Eales’ leadership, Atlanta United had one of the most successful seasons in MLS history. Atlanta became the first MLS club to draw more than 1 million fans, averaging a league-record 53,002 fans per game during the regular season. Overall, the club had eight crowds of more than 70,000, including a record crowd of 73,019 for the MLS Cup Championship game. Including playoff matches, Atlanta averaged 54,820 fans per game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a mark that ranked 14th worldwide among soccer clubs for the 2017-18 FIFA season.
Atlanta United also won team awards in the following categories: Ticket Sales, Public Relations, Retail, Digital Media, Operations Staff and Supporter Management. It was the first time each of six departments won their respective award and overall, for the second consecutive year, Atlanta United led all MLS clubs with seven total awards. The club has won twelve total awards in its first two years. A full list of the 2018 Club Executive Awards can be found below.
On Tuesday night, Atlanta United dominated the League Ticketing Awards by claiming three Commissioner’s Club Awards for season tickets sold, top team in group tickets sold, and excellence in member renewals for 2019. In addition, Tim Jameson and Brock Wright each won MLS Sales Person of the Year, in the categories of group sales and season tickets, respectively.
2018 MLS Club and Executive Award Winners:
Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year – Darren Eales
Ticket Sales Team of the Year – Atlanta United
Public Relations Team of the Year – Atlanta United
Club Retailer of the Year – Atlanta United
Digital Team of the Year – Atlanta United
Operations Staff of the Year – Atlanta United
Supporter Management Team of the Year – Atlanta United
Additional award winners
Sporting Executive of the Year – Peter Vermes, Sporting Kansas City
Corporate Partnerships Team of the Year – Los Angeles Football Club
Corporate Partnerships Executive of the Year – Justin Compton (Sporting Kansas City)
Ticket Sales Executive of the Year – Sean Sittnick (Minnesota United FC)
Marketing Executive of the Year – Rich Orosco (Los Angeles Football Club)
Expansion Club Recognition Award – Los Angeles Football Club
Ticketing Sales Impact Award presented by the National Sales Center powered by SeatGeek – Colorado Rapids (Sales Combine)
Marketing Team of the Year – New York City FC (24-hour game)
Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Department of the Year presented by MLS WORKS – Chicago Fire
Business Analytics Team of the Year – Los Angeles Football Club
Social Media Activation of the Year – LA Galaxy (#Galaxy Social / Malea Emma)
Digital Content Experience of the Year – Portland Timbers (The Rivalry)
Equipment Manager of the Year – Chris Maxwell (Houston Dynamo)
Security Staff of the Year – Seattle Sounders FC
eMLS Team of the Year – Philadelphia Union
Team Administrator of the Year – Spencer Childs (Portland Timbers)
Athletic Training Staff of the Year – Sporting Kansas City
Academy of the Year – Sporting Kansas City