CARSON, Calif. (Friday, February 17, 2012) – The LA Galaxy and AEG CEO, Tim Leiweke, announced today that Chris McGowan has been named the club’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), and will lead all day-to-day business operations of the club going forward.
McGowan, 38, has spent the last five years as the Los Angeles Kings’ COO, managing the various business departments of the Kings organization while also overseeing club revenues. McGowan will continue his Kings duties as he holds dual roles with both organizations which are owned and operated by AEG.
“Chris has been a part of our organization for 16 years and has done an outstanding job with the business side of the Kings to where there is now a lot of enthusiasm and expectations, and he will do the same with the Galaxy,” said Leiweke. “With our recent MLS Cup Championship, the return of David Beckham and our outstanding roster heading into this season, the Galaxy will continue their rapid growth in this marketplace under Chris’ leadership. Also with the addition of our new partnership with Time Warner Cable Sports, we now have a tremendous opportunity to significantly increase our reach and support in both the English and Spanish-speaking population, and with Chris’ knowledge combined with AEG’s resources, we expect that growth to be unprecedented in our history with the Galaxy.”
“I am looking forward to working in Major League Soccer and I am honored to be joining a championship organization that has a rich history of success both on and off the field,” said McGowan. “I am very passionate about the sport of soccer and am excited to work alongside the rest of the front office staff to provide our fans with an organization they can be proud to represent.”
With the Galaxy, McGowan will oversee all aspects of the Galaxy front office, including sales and service, marketing, communications, broadcasting, community relations, sponsorship and game entertainment. He replaces Tom Payne, the club’s President of Business Operations, who has decided to leave the organization. Payne will temporarily remain with the organization to assist in the transition.
McGowan joins the Galaxy organization with extensive experience in a wide range of sports business categories. With the Kings the past five years his responsibilities include developing strategies to grow the Kings’ fan base and enhance the fan experience. Other areas of responsibility include ticket sales and service, ticket operations, marketing and advertising, branding initiatives, digital, game presentation, communications, broadcasting, fan development, community relations and human resources. McGowan is also actively involved in sponsorship sales and service efforts for the team. Additionally, he oversees all out-of-market preseason games including international games in Salzburg, Austria and London, England, and nationally in Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Ontario and the popular Frozen Fury game that was played for the 14th season in Las Vegas, plus games this year in Hamburg, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; and Berlin, Germany. McGowan also is a contact and liaison with the NHL for business related matters. His efforts played an important role in the Kings being awarded the 2010 NHL Entry Draft that was hosted at STAPLES Center. McGowan also assists in the management and operations of the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
McGowan is in his 16th year with the Kings and AEG, having held a number of positions of increasing responsibility dating back to 1996 when he began his career as an Account Executive in the Kings’ ticket sales department. One of the many highlights of his work with AEG was his role in opening STAPLES Center in October 1999. Through the years, he has progressed from a number of staff positions to his current executive position with the Kings.
McGowan has developed an extensive sports and entertainment sales and marketing background by working on a variety of large-scale sports and entertainment events. He managed the Premium Seating (Luxury Suite and Club Seat) sales efforts for all of AEG’s venues in Southern California including STAPLES Center, Home Depot Center and NOKIA Theater. Under McGowan’s leadership each of these venues set industry records for premium seating revenue. As SVP, Sales and Marketing for AEG from 2003-2007, McGowan was responsible for sales and marketing efforts for AEG’s Southern Californian properties which included the Kings, Los Angeles Riptide (Major League Lacrosse), AVP Southern California, WTA Tour Championships (Tennis), East West Bank Classic (Tennis), UCI Track Cycling at the ADT Event Center, Amgen Tour of California (Cycling), world championship Boxing matches at STAPLES Center and Home Depot Center, US Track & Field Championships, Adidas Track Classic and various international soccer matches. Additionally, McGowan worked on several special events including the Grammy’s, Latin Grammy’s, Rose Bowl, concerts, awards shows, family shows and the King Tut exhibit tour.
The Galaxy will play their first official game of 2012 on Wednesday, March 7 when they face Toronto FC in the first leg of their 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal, which will be played at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They will open the 2012 MLS season three days later on Saturday, March 10 when they host Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center in MLS First Kick 2012, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. That game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and tickets are on sale now starting at just $30. For more information about this game or to purchase tickets for all Galaxy home games, please visit www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.