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Whitecaps hire new president


Richard

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VANCOUVER , B.C., March 14, 2005 – The Vancouver Whitecaps FC Director of Soccer Operations, Bob Lenarduzzi, today announced the hiring of John Rocha as the new President of the Whitecaps.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome John to the Whitecaps organization,” said Lenarduzzi. “John brings extensive leadership, experience and enthusiasm; he is a huge addition to the franchise.”

John Rocha joins the Whitecaps organizations after 13 very successful years with the Vancouver Canucks. In his most recent role as the Vice President of Customer Sales & Service for Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, John was behind the launch of many successful ticketing and marketing campaigns. The 2003.04 season sales campaign proved to be the most successful when the Canucks achieved an unprecedented 5,400 new season ticket equivalents resulting in a season ticket base capped at 17,000. This achievement coincided with a record streak of 86 consecutive sell-outs.

In his new role with the Whitecaps, John will be responsible for all business operations, sales and marketing, sponsorship and administration for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. John will also work with Bob Lenarduzzi in the areas of soccer operations and youth development.

http://www.whitecapsfc.com/news/march2005/president.htm

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Kerfoot must have really deep pockets, as the Whitecaps sure have added lots of salary in the coaching/management area. Perhaps player salaries are being cut to pay for all the management.

Just a reminder - they have a new coach - Lilley who is from the US, they sent Fonseca to work with the youth program, and they are paying Carlo Corazzin and Andrea Neil to also work with the youth.

They have added a reserve team with Bennett as coach. They have also brought in a new non-local goalie coach, rather than hiring a local goalie coach on a part time basis. They now have a new senior management position -a full-time paid President to work alongside the full-time Lenarduzzi. They still have the other Lenarduzzi's working for the Whitecaps youth program. I'm sure there are more paid staff, but the names escape me.

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The youth program is a revenue generator and I suspect largely pays for itself, like the SYL teams.

The reserve team staff I'm sure are not paid fulltime, probably just expenses and an honorarium.

I think however that Greg Kerfoot is investing for growth which is a very good thing. If it doesn't happen watch the heads roll. I am sure much is expected of the new club president considering his background and experience in marketing and ticket sales.

I wouldn't be surprised if the initial target is selling out Swangard for every game and building support to fill a new, larger stadium routinely in a couple of years.

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In an interview I saw on Sportsnet West, announcing the Rocha hire, Lenarduzzi said MLS was not out of the question.

I like what the Whitecaps are doing. They are building a strong organization and marketing the team well.

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These are good times in the 'Couv! I bumped into a youth player from the U15 academy team who travels all the way from the Sunshine Coast to train at SFU. He was wearing his very sharp Whitecaps tracksuit.

All the kid wants to do is play for the Whitecaps, and he says the coaching he's getting is excellent. Give that 5 years and every youth player and their parent in the Lower Mainland will aspire to at least get into the Whitecaps system for the coaching. It doesn't hurt that the Whitecaps academy teams play in the summer, so they don't miss out on their regular club teams in the fall/winter.

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Whitecaps moving up to the MLS would be a natural progression, just like promotion to the EPL from the Championship League in Britain ;)

He said at the outset he wanted to build the Whitecaps into a European style club organisation and that's exactly what he is doing.

There is now a strong youth element with places on SYL teams for the young kids to aspire to.

There are now reserve teams in the PCSL for the SYL youngsters to move up to while competing for places on the senior sides.

The club has invested in new facilities at SFU, announced plans to build a multi-field complex with dormitories in Surrey and is set to own its own 20,000 seat stadium right in downtown Vancouver, probably alongside GM Place and BC Place.

Greg Kerfoot built a highly successful software business from the ground up. Seems he's applying those same skills to the Whitecaps FC organisation. I hope he is just as successful.

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