(ISN) – The 2014 United Soccer Leagues Annual General Meeting (AGM) got underway Wednesday as the first meetings of the four-day event kicked off at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa. Highlanders FC will be represented by Mark deFrias as the general manager travels east for his third AGM.
“The AGM is an event we look forward to each and every year,” stated deFrias. “The USL is in the midst of unprecedented growth in North American soccer, in particular from their burgeoning partnership with MLS. At meetings last year, we were able to begin conversations in relations to hosting Rangers FC in Victoria – who knows what opportunity will come out of this year’s event.”
In addition to discussions regarding the Highlanders’ future plans, the team will also be up for an award after yet another successful 2014 campaign that ended with a nomination for the league’s Marketing Award.
“We were very honoured to be nominated for the Marketing Award,” added deFrias. “We have some very stiff competition, but it would be a fantastic award to recognize the hard work our office staff have put in this past year. We will have to cross our fingers.”
The annual gathering features operational, best practices and scheduling meetings, with sports industry leaders on hand to educate USL teams about emerging trends and the latest technology available in the sports business world.
The highlight of the event will be the annual team and executive awards presentations at the USL Hall of Fame Awards Dinner.
“The work that is done at the AGM is always crucial to the future success of our leagues, and it will be even more important this year due to the unprecedented growth our leagues are experiencing,” USL President Tim Holt said. “This is an opportunity for the team owners and executives who have made USL’s leagues so successful to not only hear from some of the top business leaders in the sports world, but share their ideas for how we can continue to stay at the forefront of soccer in North America.”
The 2014 USL AGM will include individual league meetings and seminars related to driving revenue and sponsorship, ticket sales, brand insights, social media and fan engagement, broadcast operations, and marketing and communications, among other topics.
The annual USL Hall of Fame Awards Dinner concludes Friday’s festivities as the teams gather to honor the teams and executives for their performances during 2014 and the induction ceremony for the USL Hall of Fame. The AGM concludes Saturday evening.