The New York Red Bulls have named Erik Stover as the team’s new managing director.
Who is Stover? He was named the team’s Vice President of Operations and General Manager of Red Bull Park in March. Before that he spent three years running Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Before that, Stover was vice president of operations of Giants Stadium.
In short, Red Bull has just hired a man whose entire resume consists of operating stadiums to run their soccer team.
The reaction to the hire by the first source I contacted about it? "He knows absolutely nothing about soccer."
Apparently that is a pre-requisite for the Red Bulls managing director position. Who knew?
The word emerging from Red Bulls sources is that the corporate HQ felt Stover was the best in-house candidate for the job. He will definitely get a chance to learn on the job. If the Red Bulls are lucky, perhaps Stover can develop into a good executive. That still doesn’t excuse the fact that Red Bull hired someone with no experience running a pro sports team.
The only word that comes to mind is brainless. Red Bull has just made it clear that A) it has no clue how to run the Red Bulls and B) it is focused solely on the opening of Red Bull Park in 2009.
That was my initial reaction. We will see if Stover can learn on the job and be an effective conduit between the team side and the suits in Salzburg. It is hard to defend a pro sports team hiring someone with no team management experience to run a pro team, but Red Bull has done it two times with Red Bull New York now.
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