Jeff Plush Named VP and Managing Director of the Rapids
DENVER (January 23 2006)- The Colorado Rapids announced today top management changes in the organization as Kroenke Sports Enterprises appointed Jeff Plush as Vice President and Managing Director for the Rapids. In this role Plush a veteran executive with a distinguished background in sales and marketing in major league sports becomes the person who will oversee all activities for the team and front office effective immediately.
Charlie Wright who will retain his title of General Manager will work closely with Plush and the Rapids coaching staff focusing on the soccer aspect of the team and applying his experience to assure the club’s compliance with Major League Soccer’s rules and structure.
"Jeff’s long experience in the sports marketing and sales fields makes him the perfect candidate to lead the Rapids organization in this new chapter of the team’s evolution under Kroenke Sports Enterprises said Paul Andrews KSE’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
"Charlie Wright performed an outstanding job during the first two years of KSE’s ownership of the Rapids and he will continue contributing to the organization in his revised role. His knowledge will be key in assisting Plush and the coaching staff with the soccer-specific aspect of the franchise."
Plush whose previous position was Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development for Kroenke Sports Enterprises LLC was charged with spearheading KSE’s strategic business initiatives new media enterprises and brand development.
Plush has played an integral role in the growth of KSE’s business including the launch of the Altitude Sports & Entertainment network as well as the acquisition and continuing oversight of the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League. Additionally Plush was largely responsible for the successful bid and execution of the 2005 NBA All-Star Game in Denver.
"I am extremely honored to be given the opportunity to lead the Colorado Rapids said Plush. "This is a club that has gone through many changes in the last three years including the transition into KSE’s business structure in which Charlie Wright played an important role. With the Rapids’ new stadium complex on track to open in April of 2007 and the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead both commercially and on the field I couldn’t be more excited to start working for the success of our team and its fan base."
Plush 40 has spent his entire career in and around the business of sports and entertainment. Prior to joining Kroenke Sports Enterprises Plush was the Director of Corporate Development for International Management Group of Denver. From 1998 to 2001 Plush negotiated endorsement deals for a stable of world-class athletes including Olympic gold medalists Michael Johnson Picabo Street Jonny Moseley and Dan O’Brien.
A native of Colorado Springs CO Plush is very active in the Denver community serving on the board of directors of the Metro Denver Sports Commission and the North Metro Chamber of Commerce. He resides in Denver with his wife Heather and daughters Hannah and Emily.
Wright who was at the helm of the Rapids for the past two seasons was charged with the team’s transition after its acquisition by KSE. Thanks to Wright’s initiatives the team signed current Head Coach Fernando Clavijo who led the club to the Western Conference Championship in his first year with the Black & Blue. Wright was instrumental in bringing international exhibition games to Denver such as the Chivas of Guadalajara (MEX) vs. Boca Juniors (ARG) match that the Rapids hosted in 2004 as well as the Cruz Azul (MEX) vs. Chivas (MEX) match the club hosted last season.
"As our organization continues to evolve we adjust our duties to assure the permanent growth of the team and its fan base said Wright. "I’m looking forward to building upon the Rapids' success of 2005 as I shift my focus and energy to assist Fernando and the coaching staff in fielding a championship side for Colorado."
Continuing in his General Manager role Wright will manage the team and player operations for the Rapids working closely with Plush Clavijo and the rest of the coaching staff. His responsibilities will include the Soccer Operations Player Operations as well as the Rapids' Scouting and Preseason departments. He will also place renewed emphasis on his role as VP of New Business Development at KSE.