SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning received the prestigious Doug Hamilton Award, signifying recognition as the 2012 Major League Soccer Executive of the Year. Presented by MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a private ceremony, the award honors RSL’s growth and excellent metrics in key business areas, including ticket sales and retention, corporate sponsorship revenue and activation and local television ratings.
“Under Bill’s direction, Real Salt Lake has shown consistent, steady growth and the club has excelled both on and off the field, across a number of different competitions,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “The club’s metrics in key business areas can be directly attributed to Bill and his hardworking and dedicated front office staff. The atmosphere inside Rio Tinto Stadium – a true home-field advantage – is among the best in Major League Soccer.”
Real Salt Lake also saw several of its ticket sales representatives recognized for their efforts to build and maintain an ever-deepening culture for the sport on the Wasatch Front.
“First and foremost, any of these honors would not be possible without the incredible passion and commitment of our dedicated fan base,” said Manning, who was named the 1999 USL Executive of the Year as President of the Minnesota Thunder. “This award is really a reflection of the great staff we have here at Real Salt Lake, they make me look good every day.”
Manning – who received his MBA from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.) – embarked on his 20-year sports career in 1993 with the Continental Indoor Soccer League and then went on to manage four different teams in the United Soccer Leagues and Major League Soccer between 1994-2002. Manning then joined the NBA Houston Rockets in 2003, playing a key role in the opening of the state-of-the-art Toyota Center, before joining the NFL Philadelphia Eagles as Vice President of Sales from 2004-2008. Manning took the reigns as President of Real Salt Lake & ESPN700 in April 2008, later adding duties as President of Rio Tinto Stadium, which opened in October of 2008.
Manning was particularly proud not only of those recognized on the RSL ticketing staff, but also that two other executive award recipients – Steve Powell of the Houston Dynamo & Jessica Worley of the Chicago Fire – once worked for Manning during his days with the MLS Tampa Bay Mutiny and the NFL Philadelphia Eagles.