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Appointments round-up: Vancouver Whitecaps, Legends, Wasps and more

This week saw the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer franchise appoint industry veteran Mark Pannes as its new chief executive.

Pannes (pictured) previously served as managing partner of Union Sports and spent six years with Italian Serie A club AS Roma, where he worked as chief executive, president of the club’s IP licensing business and chief executive and project lead for Stadio della Roma.

He has also worked as director of HSBC Private Bank’s Global Sports Group and spent 10 years with the New York Knicks NBA basketball team, where he served as vice-president of marketing, overseeing all ticket and sponsorship revenue and brand management.

In his new role, Pannes will oversee all business aspects of the Whitecaps.

Denise Taylor has been named president of Legends’ newly-launched Global Technology Solutions division.

Taylor will also oversee EDGE Experiential, Legends’ technology joint venture with Productive Edge. She will also focus on future-forward strategic direction, guest-facing technology and business development opportunities for Legends partners.

Taylor previously worked as chief global information officer for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, a position she held since 2015. Before that, she spent over nine years working for AEG, most recently as global chief information officer.

For more information on the launch of Legends’ new division, check out our story from earlier this week.

MLS team New York City FC has hired Matt Goodman as its chief operating officer and chief commercial officer, a new position created by the club ahead of the 2020 season.

Goodman will oversee ticket sales, suites and premium seating, corporate partnership, marketing, business intelligence and analytics, and youth programmes. Working with chief executive Brad Sims, Goodman will look to drive business operations forward and he joins NYCFC from the NBA, where he served as senior vice-president of the league’s team marketing and business operations department.

Prior to joining the NBA, Goodman was vice-president of corporate partnerships for the Cleveland Browns NFL American football team and also worked at the Madison Square Garden Company as vice-president of corporate hospitality.

Alistair Spiers has started a new position as head of sales at Premier League football club Leicester City.

Spiers has previously worked for the America’s Cup sailing event, French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint-Germain, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, Seatwave and Club Wembley.

English Premiership rugby union club Wasps has named Adam Benson as its new chief commercial officer.

Benson joins the club having served a similar role at Gloucester Rugby and will begin his new position in February. Benson previously spent six years as commercial director at Championship football club Reading.

At Wasps, he will oversee commercial strategy and direct work in partnerships, advertising, hospitality, retail, ticketing, CRM, digital, community and Wasps Netball, as well as identifying new opportunities across the business.

Neil Snowball, chief executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, will take up a new role as managing director of county cricket for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Prior to joining Warwickshire, Snowball served as chief operating officer of the organising committee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. He also served as head of sport operations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In his new role, Snowball will look to grow and develop domestic cricket in England and Wales, managing the ECB’s relationships with stakeholders across the professional and recreational game to help deliver the ECB’s new five-year strategy.

Lancashire Cricket Club has appointed Steve Davies as its new operations director as part of ongoing efforts to improve the experience of visitors to its Emirates Old Trafford ground.

After what Lancashire described as an extensive global search, Davies joins from Merlin Entertainments where he has spent over 14 years working at popular visitor attractions in several senior roles including conference and banqueting manager and then head of operations at Alton Towers theme park.

Davies held the role of operations director at Chessington World of Adventures for over three years and joins Lancashire Cricket from Madame Tussaud’s London, where he’s worked since September 2017 as general manager.

Read our story from earlier in the week for more information on Davies’ appointment.

Paolo Dal Pino has been elected president of Serie A, the top tier of club football in Italy.

Dal Pino joins the league from telecommunications company Telit Communications, where he served as chief executive. He will replace Gaetano Miccichè, who stepped down from the role following an investigation into the election process that led to his win.

Former Google executive Jarkko Heinonen has been named as chief commercial officer at event promotion and ticketing firm Lippupiste Oy. In his new role, he will be responsible for B2B sales, e-commerce, digital agency, big data and comms teams.

Chris Giles, chief operating officer for Major League Baseball franchise Oakland Athletics, has left the team to create his own firm that will focus on what he describes as a “new approach to ticketing”. Full details of Giles’ departure can be found on our sister site TheTicketingBusiness.com.

Conor Merry has started a new role as head of operations for Levy Restaurants at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

Jenny Godding has taken up the event general manager position at The Goodwood Group.

Godding previously served as Festival of Speed event operations manager for The Goodwood Group, and before that worked as an event planner for the company.

Markus Sass has started a new position as a sports and entertainment consultant at Drees & Sommer, an international real estate consulting company based in Germany. The role will be based in Hamburg.

Video-streaming solutions company Tripleplay has named James Keen as its new vice-president of marketing. Keen had served as the company’s group marketing manager since July 2012.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.