Nick Sakiewicz, who played college ball at the University of New Haven before a long career as MLS executive, returns to Connecticut soccer as the new CEO of the USL Championship's Hartford Athletic.
A founding executive of Major League Soccer, which launched in 1996, Sakiewicz was the league's VP of Commercial Sponsorship Sales before serving as president of the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the MetroStars. With the latter, he played a role in its sale to Red Bull and the building of the club's soccer specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey.
In 2006, Sakiewicz co-founded Keystone Sports & Entertainment, which assembled the investors for the launch of the Philadelphia Union, which began playing in MLS in 2010.
After serving as Operating Partner and CEO of the Philadelphia Union in 2008-2015, Sakiewicz was the National Lacrosse League's commissioner in 2016-2022.
The 62-year-old, who founded the Global Football Group consultancy in 2015, spent the last year and a half as Chief Business Officer of the National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes.
"My active role will be as CEO of Hartford Athletic, but GFG will become more active in North America, Central and South America, where its business has mostly been in Europe up until now,” Sakiewicz told the Sports Business Journal. “I'm blessed to be able to continue to grow a company I founded in 2015 and help [Hartford Athletic co-owner] Bruce Mandell, a guy who really understands how soccer should grow in the United States.”
Hartford Athletic began USL Championship play in 2019. It reached the playoffs once, in 2022. It's in last-place of the Eastern Conference with a 4-20-4 (W-L-T) record, in the midst a six-game losing streak, and out of contention to reach the 2023 playoffs with five games left.
Sakiewicz was on the 38-person long list of candidates for 2024 National Soccer Hall of Fame "Builder" honors.