SporticoLive is proud to announce MLS Valuations 2021, featuring MLS Commissioner, Don Garber and several of the league's owners and executives. Industry experts will join team leaders for an engaging discussion on the league and its franchises. This exclusive event is the fourth offering in Sportico's highly regarded valuations franchise, following the NFL, NBA and MLB. It's a can't-miss for the sports business industry!
Commissioner, Major League Soccer
Don Garber was named Commissioner of Major League Soccer, the premier professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, in 1999. During his tenure, MLS has expanded from 10 to 30 clubs, added 26 new owners and secured long-term broadcast agreements with ESPN, FOX and Univision and major broadcasters in Europe, Asia and South America. Garber has also led efforts to develop 20 soccer stadiums in the United States and Canada, and a minimum of seven more soccer venues will open during the next few years.
Lead Managing Owner, LAFC & Senior Partner, Apollo Global Management
Mr. Berg joined Apollo in 1992 and is a Senior Partner in Private Equity. Mr. Berg serves on the board of directors as Chairman of McGraw-Hill Education, Apollo Education, Maxim Crane Works and Vanta Education. He is Lead Managing Owner of LAFC in Major League Soccer and is on the board of directors of LAFC Foundation. Mr. Berg previously served on the boards of ABC Supply, AMC Entertainment, Berlitz, Connections Academy, Crisis Text Line, Goodman Global, Laureate Education, Rexnord Industries and Sylvan Learning Systems.
Mr. Berg graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and received his MBA from the Harvard School of Business.
Chairman, Mandalay Entertainment & Owner, LAFC
Peter Guber is a successful business leader with vast experience across a variety of entertainment-based platforms. Currently, Peter is Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group. He is operating Owner of the 2015, 2017 and 2018 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors; Owner of the 2020 World Series Champion, seven-time National League West Champion, and three-time National League Champion, Los Angeles Dodgers; and Owner and Executive Chairman of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).
Co-Chairman and CEO, D.C. United
Jason Levien was named a majority owner of D.C. United in 2012 and is currently the Co-Chairman and CEO of the MLS franchise. During his time with the team, he has led the efforts that resulted in the building of Audi Field, D.C. United’s new 20,000 seat state-of-the-art
United was entering its fifth consecutive season without reaching the playoffs when Levien arrived. Since then, D.C. United has reached the Eastern Conference Finals and won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup while making the playoffs four times during that span. Levien is an investor in multiple sports properties including Swansea City Football Club who have been playing in the English Premier League for seven of the last nine years. Levien is also an investor in real estate and sports and technology-focused businesses including in autonomous video production and esports. He serves on Major League Soccer's Board of Governors and is co-chair of the Business Development Committee.
Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Portland Timbers
Merritt Paulson is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer (MLS), Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and T2 (Portland Timbers 2). Paulson assumed ownership of the Timbers in 2007, bringing MLS to Portland in 2011 and helping lead the launch of Thorns FC in the NWSL’s inaugural season in 2013. Under his guidance, Providence Park underwent a successful, privately-funded expansion transformation project that was completed in 2019, while the Timbers and Thorns FC have been among the best-attended soccer clubs in their respective leagues.
Before his time in Portland, Paulson was an executive at NBA Entertainment in New York, where he helped launch and develop NBA-TV and had responsibility for both marketing and business development efforts of NBA-TV and NBA LEAGUE PASS. He first moved to New York to join HBO on Demand and was part of the team that launched the first premium subscription video-on-demand service.
Sports Valuations Reporter, Sportico
Kurt Badenhausen is a sports valuations reporter at Sportico. Prior to joining Sportico, he was a senior editor at Forbes where he worked from 1998 to 2021. He co-engineered Forbes’ annual sports team valuations and launched numerous initiatives at the company, including annual features on brand valuations, best banks and top business schools. He profiled a bunch of athletes who go by one name: LeBron, Shaq, Danica and others for the magazine. Prior to joining Forbes, Badenhausen worked at Financial World magazine where his coverage focused on investing, mutual funds and the business of sports. He graduated from Colgate University with a degree in history and resides in New Jersey with his wife, two sons and black lab.
Sports Business Reporter, Sportico
Eben Novy-Williams is a sports business reporter and podcast host at Sportico, a news venture launched earlier this year by Penske Media.
Prior to joining Sportico, Novy-Williams spent nine years covering the intersection of money and sports at Bloomberg News. His writing has appeared online, in Businessweek magazine and in newspapers across the country. He was also co-host of the Bloomberg Business of Sports podcast.
Scott Soshnick joined Sportico in April of 2020 as its Editor-In-Chief and head of content, bringing decades of editorial experience to Penske Media’s sports business platform.
Prior to joining Sportico, Scott spent 27 years at Bloomberg News, spearheading the global news service’s sports business coverage across a variety of platforms. Scott also founded and co-hosted Bloomberg’s Business of Sports podcast, while creating and hosting a variety of live events with leading industry executives.
Scott graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in broadcast journalism. He resides in Glen Ridge, NJ, with his wife and son, who aspires to be an NHL goaltender. As such, Scott spends an inordinate amount of time in hockey rinks.