Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings Announces Senior Leadership Team

Press Release


Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings Announces Senior Leadership Team

Top Executives will Oversee Continued Growth of Sacramento Republic FC and Progress on Major League Soccer Bid Under Direction of Chairman and CEO Kevin Nagle

SACRAMENTO, Calif., August 16, 2017  Today, Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings (SSEH), the parent company of Sacramento Republic FC (Republic FC), announced its senior leadership team to oversee Republic FC and Sacramento’s ongoing bid to join Major League Soccer (MLS). The announcement builds upon the May 2017 acquisition of Republic FC by SSEH Chairman and CEO Kevin Nagle to fully unite and align Sacramento’s bid for MLS.

“As we look to continuously grow and improve Republic FC, I’m proud to formalize the roles of a stellar team of individuals leading our club and our bid for MLS,” said Mr. Nagle. “This group understands my vision for Republic FC and brings together the perfect combination of leadership, determination, expertise and passion to make Sacramento an MLS city.”

Reporting to Mr. Nagle, each of SSEH’s senior leadership team members possesses extensive experience with Sacramento’s MLS bid, Republic FC, and Sacramento professional sports community:

Ben Gumpert, SSEH Chief Operating Officer and Chief Advisor. 

Ben will oversee the full range of Republic FC’s operations and co-lead the MLS bid effort, with a specific focus on MLS business operations and stadium development. Ben joined SSEH in January 2017 as a consultant to Republic FC and the MLS bid. Ben previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for the Sacramento Kings during the development of Golden 1 Center and as a Vice President at the National Basketball Association in the Team Marketing and Business Operations group (TMBO) in New York.  A native of Sacramento, Ben earned his B.A. in Business-Economics from UCLA and M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Kunal Merchant, SSEH Senior Advisor, MLS Bid and Stadium.

Kunal will continue to provide strategic and management support to SSEH as co-lead of the MLS bid, with a specific focus on MLS league relations, stadium development, and strategic communications.  Kunal has served as a consultant to SSEH since June 2015. Kunal previously served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Sacramento Kings, Executive Director of Think BIG Sacramento, and Chief of Staff to former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, where he played a central role in the successful effort to save the Kings and develop the Golden 1 Center. Kunal earned his A.B. in Economics and M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Michael Thomas, SSEH Financial Officer and Senior Advisor.

Michael will provide financial oversight and accountability over the full range of SSEH and Republic FC operations. Michael has advised SSEH since May 2014. Michael’s career includes senior level corporate finance positions across the banking and the energy sectors.  Michael earned his B.A. in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara and M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame Graduate School of Business.

Jeff Koewler, SSEH Outside General Counsel.

Jeff will provide guidance on the full range of SSEH and Republic FC legal and financial matters, with a specific focus on corporate strategy, finance transactions, contract review, and legal compliance. Jeff has advised SSEH since May 2014. Jeff is a Partner at Delfino Madden O’Malley Coyle and Koewler, where he assists over 50 clients on corporate law and transaction matters throughout the US. Jeff earned his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

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