05) Erik Stover - Chief Operating Officer, New York Cosmos
Erik Stover is the Chief Operating Officer of the New York Cosmos.
Originally from Williamsport, PA, Erik is one of the most prominent sports executives in the country with a career spanning over 20-years. He has been in senior management positions with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (Giants Stadium and Izod Center) and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, he was also the President/Managing Director of the New York Red Bulls for three and half years. While working for Red Bulls, Erik oversaw the construction and operation of Red Bull Arena, a $200 million state-of-the-art stadium in Harrison, NJ.
He also recruited Thierry Henry to the MLS in 2010. When he left the Red Bulls in August of 2011, they had risen from the bottom of the MLS in attendance to #4, which included 150% increase in season ticket holders. For his work at RBNY, he received the 2010 MLS Executive of the Year Award.
Currently he is the Cosmos' top acting executive. A team that returned to the pitch in 2013 after nearly a 30-year absence. The club has since won the title twice in three seasons.
In this episode, Erik takes us through his career journey starting as an intern of volunteers to then climbing the corporate ladder and becoming one of the most influential sports executives in the country. We discuss the ins and outs of running a major organization, the business drivers, leadership, negotiating with Darren & David Dein ex Vice-Chairman at Arsenal, building stadiums, and much more!