MLS’s upcoming Austin FC has announced the hiring of Andy Loughnane as president, as he has arrived to Austin from Columbus.
Loughnane, who previously served as Columbus Crew SC’s president of business operations, will oversee Austin FC’s front office operations and will report to Austin FC’s Chairman/CEO Anthony Precourt. His responsibilities include oversight of community and supporter engagement, ticketing, sponsorships, marketing and communications, digital and social platforms, content creation, media distribution, merchandise, food and beverage, and stadium operations.
“Andy’s long track record of success in the sports and entertainment industry, and his instrumental leadership of Columbus Crew SC make him the ideal leader to serve as president of Austin FC,” said Precourt. “He is a proven operator who will be crucial to achieving our goal of developing a proud, winning Club in Austin. I look forward to continuing to work closely again with Andy as we embark on this great opportunity to build a Major League Soccer team in Austin.”
“The opportunity to launch a city’s first major league team, open a state-of-the-art stadium, and begin the process of competing for the first major league championship in the history of Austin is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am incredibly honored to represent Anthony Precourt and Major League Soccer as we collectively build this community asset for all of Austin to enjoy,” said Loughnane. “Austin is a special place, and on behalf of the entire Club, we are eager to begin the process of earning the trust of those who preserve and grow the legend of Austin.”
During Loughnane’s leadership of Columbus Crew SC’s business operations, which began in 2014, the franchise consistently reached the MLS Cup Playoffs, and the team and stadium established single-season revenue records for Crew SC in sponsorship, ticketing, and food and beverage for three consecutive years from 2015 through 2017. He also oversaw the execution of several major milestones and business initiatives, including:
- Final-stage execution of Crew SC’s acclaimed brand transformation in October 2014.
- In March 2015, securing the first naming rights partnership in the 15-year history of MAPFRE Stadium; the largest commercial transaction for the franchise ever.
- In 2016, developing an innovative broadcast distribution package, which enabled all television households within the Columbus metro area and large portions of all major metros in Ohio to watch Crew SC broadcasts.
- Securing the largest annual sponsorship commitment in Crew SC history after welcoming the luxury automotive brand Acura as official Crew SC jersey partner in February 2017.
Prior to his appointment as president of Austin FC, Loughnane’s sports and entertainment background encompassed leadership and sales roles with four major league sports franchises across three major leagues: MLS, NBA and NHL. Before joining MLS’ Columbus Crew SC as president of business operations in 2014, Loughnane oversaw all sponsorship and media sales initiatives as VP of corporate partnerships for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Loughnane previously helped launch a major league franchise as a member of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets’ inaugural front office staff. Prior to his role with the Blue Jackets, Loughnane worked for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings during the franchise’s back-to-back Stanley Cup runs in 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 as a sponsorship sales executive.
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