[MLS SPOTLIGHT]The Columbus Crew hired veteran sports industry executiveAndy Loughnane, most recently with the NBA's Detroit Pistons, as the club’s president of business operations. Crew president Mark McCullers offered his resignation after 15 years with the club in May.
The changes follow the sale of the club a little more than a year ago to Anthony Precourt. In the new structure, first-year head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalterruns the soccer side.
Loughnane was an original staff member during the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets’ inaugural campaign and an executive at Columbus-based Glimcher Realty Trust working on the company’s in-mall sponsorship program.
With the Pistons, Loughnane oversaw all sponsorship and media sales initiatives for the NBA club, The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival. He also worked for the Detroit Red Wings during the franchise’s back-to-back Stanley Cup runs in 1996-1997 and 1997-1998.
“We are excited to welcome Andy Loughnane to the Columbus Crew as the next executive leader of our business operations,” said Precourt in a statement. “In Andy we gain a smart, entrepreneurial and driven executive whose commercial experience will be a wonderful complement to Gregg Berhalter, our expert within our competition and technical areas."
The appointment headlines a number of Crew front-office moves.
Mike Malo moves into the role of senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Clark Beacom becomes vice president of ticket sales, services and pperations and will report directly to Loughnane.
Also reporting directly to Loughnane will be Andrew Arthurs(senior vice president, soccer business development/executive director of Crew Juniors); Chris Previte (vice president of corporate partnerships); and Lori McKirnan (vice president of finance and business planning).