Canadian Premier League announces Mark Noonan as new commissioner

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Published August 25, 2022 at 3:26 pm

The Canadian Premier League announced Thursday that Mark Noonan will take over as the league’s commissioner following a months-long search.

Noonan will also serve as the CEO of Canadian Soccer Business (CSB).

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“Mark’s extensive experience in soccer from a global perspective, combined with his incredibly impressive success in sports marketing, align perfectly with our collective goals,” said Scott Mitchell, Forge FC CEO and CSB and CPL chairman.

“We are extremely confident in Mark’s ability to have a tremendous impact on the continued development of the Canadian soccer ecosystem while leading the CPL and CSB in becoming a true global soccer property.”

Noonan, 57, joins the CPL after more than two decades in the sports industry. He was a member of Duke University’s first-ever NCAA Division I championship soccer team in 1986 before becoming a successful international sports marketer.

“I am grateful to the Board for the opportunity to lead the CPL and CSB as they transition into their next growth phase from coast to coast,” said Noonan.

“The CPL has carved out its place in the Canadian soccer landscape since its inception in 2019, putting down roots across the country that enable the development and progression of homegrown talent while inspiring the next generation to dream of playing professionally on home soil. But there is more work to be done, and I look forward to guiding the CPL into its next chapter of sustainability and maturation. I can’t wait to move to Toronto and get started. I’m all in.”

The native of Westport, Connecticut, spent two years as Chief Marketing Officer with the United States Soccer Federation, developing the U.S. Soccer brand. He was a key figure in the successful marketing of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and created a groundswell of support for female athletes nationwide. Noonan then moved to Major League Soccer (MLS), where, as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Fan Development, he reported directly to the Commissioner of the League and CEO of Soccer United Marketing (SUM), leading the overall strategic marketing and branding for the League, its teams and properties.

Noonan more recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of Accra Hearts of Oak SC in Accra, Ghana. Through FocalSport, the international sports and entertainment agency founded by Noonan in 2005, he has represented clients such as the New York Mets (helping them secure the largest naming rights deal in MLB history at the time), the International Basketball Federation, MLS/SUM, the R&A, and the Professional Bull Riders. Noonan also spent three years as the Global Chief Commercial Officer for World Surf League, from 2014 to 2017, and served as the Director of Integrated Marketing for the iconic beverage brand Gatorade.

“I want to congratulate Mark and the CPL Board on his appointment as Commissioner,” said Victor Montagliani, Concacaf president. “Mark brings a wealth of soccer experience and sports business acumen to the position and will undoubtedly help the CPL achieve great success and continued growth. We at Concacaf look forward to working with Mark and supporting his contributions to the Canadian and Concacaf soccer ecosystem.”

Noonan takes over for former commissioner David Clanachan, who stepped down from the role in January after being awarded an expansion CPL franchise in the Windsor area.

The CPL, the country’s primary professional soccer league, is currently in its fourth season of operation.

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