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Don Garber

Commissioner, Major League Soccer (MLS) CEO, Soccer United Marketing

Commissioner, Major League Soccer (MLS) CEO, Soccer United Marketing

Travels From Travels From:
New York, NY, USA
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Don Garber Biography

Don Garber has spent his entire career in the sports industry, working in a variety of capacities in marketing, television and League administration. On August 4, 1999, he was named Commissioner of Major League Soccer after spending 16 years with the National Football League.

Since Garber accepted Major League Soccer’s top position, his vision and leadership have enabled MLS to build a strong foundation for professional soccer in the United States. Garber has guided MLS through decisions that have solidified the League’s core business, guaranteed its long-term viability and positioned it for growth. During his tenure, MLS has added 15 new investors, expanding and diversifying the League’s ownership group, including nine new expansion teams. Garber has also led the effort to develop soccer-specific stadiums for MLS teams. Twelve stadiums have been built during his tenure, and two more have been renovated with soccer in mind. Also, more soccer-specific stadiums are currently in development.

In late 2001, Garber restructured MLS and spearheaded the formation of Soccer United Marketing (SUM), a company owned by MLS investors that is the preeminent commercial soccer entity in North America. SUM represents several prominent soccer properties, including the U.S. Soccer Federation, the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Champions League, the Mexican Soccer Federation, FC Barcelona and Chivas de Guadalajara. In addition, SUM has managed North American tours for some of the world’s most prestigious soccer clubs, including Manchester United and Real Madrid. SUM previously owned the English-language television rights for the FIFA Men’s World Cup in Germany 2006 and Korea/Japan in 2002, plus the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In 2006, Garber secured long-term national television agreements for Major League Soccer with major national television partners, including ABC/ESPN and Univision, an unprecedented accomplishment for the sport in the United States. Recently, MLS announced a three-year media rights agreement with NBC Sports, which commenced at the start of the 2012 MLS season. Additionally, Garber has implemented groundbreaking player initiatives such as the MLS Designated Player Rule and created the MLS Youth Development Initiative, positioning the League as the leader of the sport that now totals more than 24 million participants in the United States and is the largest participatory sport in Canada. In 2007, Garber formed MLS W.O.R.K.S, the League’s community outreach initiative, dedicated to addressing important social issues affecting young people throughout America.

Prior to becoming Commissioner of MLS, Garber spent 16 years with the National Football League, finishing his tenure as the senior vice president/managing director of NFL International, where he was responsible for managing all of the NFL’s business outside the United States. Garber began his career at NFL Properties in 1984 and became the League’s director of marketing in 1988. In 1992, he was appointed the NFL’s senior vice president of business development and was responsible for a variety of television, special event and marketing activities.

Garber serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Soccer Federation, The United States Soccer Foundation, FC Harlem Youth Soccer Club and the Board of the Hope and Heroes Foundation at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He is on the Board of Advisors for New York University’s Tisch School for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, the University of Central Florida, DeVos Sports Business Management Program and the World Congress of Sports.

Garber has received numerous community and industry honors during his career, including the 2008 March of Dimes Sports Leadership award and the 2007 UJA Federation Sports for Youth award for his a strong commitment to caring for the community. Garber was a finalist for the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily’s 2008 Sports Executive of the Year, a year that saw Major League Soccer named the Professional Sports League of the Year by the industry. He was listed among the most influential people in American sports in 2008 by Time Magazine and Business Week, and has been named among the top 50 most influential people in sports business by the SportsBusiness Journal each of the last five years.

Don Garber Videos

  • MLS Commissioner Don Garber on reopening soccer season
    Major League Soccer is kicking off a tournament this week at Disney World despite the fact that two teams have pulled out after its players tested...
  • MLS commissioner Don Garber on Golic & Wingo
    Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber joins Golic and Wingo to discuss the "MLS is Back Tournament" starting July 8 in Orlando, Florida, which...
  • MLS Is Back Tournament: Commissioner Don Garber Explains
    MLS Is Back Tournament: All 26 Teams to Resume Season in Orlando July 8 culminating with an August 11 Championship. MLS Commissioner Don Garber...

FAQs on booking Don Garber

  • How do I book Don Garber to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Don Garber for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Don Garber, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Don Garber or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Don Garber

    Speaking fees for Don Garber, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Don Garber are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Don Garber, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Don Garber speak about?

    Don Garber is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Business, Business Leaders, Communication, Innovation, Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Branding, Science and Technology, Soccer, Sports, Technology.
  • Where does Don Garber travel from?

    Don Garber generally travels from New York, NY, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Don Garber’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Don Garber for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Don Garber for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Don Garber or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Don Garber is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Don Garber for your event is available upon request. Don Garber generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Arthur Blank, Mark Cuban, Matt Barrie, Brian France and Tim Sanders. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Don Garber for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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