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Tampa Bay hires new staff, announces partnership.

From the Tampa Bay Rowdies front office:

TAMPA, Fla. (March 4, 2010) – FC Tampa Bay Rowdies (FC Tampa Bay) announce a partnership with Playbook Management International (PMI), as well as the appointments of Andrew Smith as director of sales and Evan Mitz as ticket sales manager.

FC Tampa Bay’s partnership with PMI, a sports and entertainment management company, will be led by Michael Hitchcock, managing partner of PMI, who will oversee the development of FC Tampa Bay’s sales and customer outreach program.

Hitchcock previously worked in Major League Soccer (MLS) for more than 12 years including sales director for the Los Angeles Galaxy and his most recent position as general manager of FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park.  During his tenure at FC Dallas, Hitchcock brought in more than 1.5 million guests to Pizza Hut Park per year and created the FC Dallas Foundation, which benefits the community and the advancement of disadvantaged youth through soccer. Throughout his MLS career, Hitchcock received numerous awards including the 2009 Frisco Chairman’s Award, MLS Sales Director of the Year four times and Commissioner’s New Business Leadership Award.

“Hitch’s sales and business development experience in sports and entertainment will be extremely valuable to our organization as we build our club, stadium programming and fan support,” said Andrew Nestor, president and owner of FC Tampa Bay.

FC Tampa Bay also brought on board Andrew Smith and Evan Mitz to develop the ticket sales department along with PMI.

Prior to joining FC Tampa Bay, Smith worked in MLS as vice president of sales at FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park from 2005 to 2008 overseeing ticket sales, customer service and box office operations. Smith increased sales for FC Dallas from $1.7 million to $3.7 million and average attendance by 36% in three years. Smith was also previously director of ticket sales for DC United of MLS.

“Andy and Evan will be vital to the building of our sales infrastructure and programs, as well as hiring and training additional staff,” said Nestor. “They both have outstanding track records and are committed to our vision of building a club Tampa Bay will be proud of.”

Evan Mitz previously worked for FC Dallas as account executive and inside sales representative from 2006 to 2009.  As account executive, Mitz was responsible for generating more than $1.8 million through the Sales Leadership Team and Brand Management Strategy Team.  Mitz was also recognized as a Top 10 Representative in MLS Group Sales, New Season Seat Sales and Revenue Production in 2007 and 2008. In 2006 as inside sales representative, Mitz was responsible for generating more than $203,000 in sales revenue producing the most revenue by a representative in the first year with FC Dallas.

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