ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2022) — Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride has bolstered its front office operations with the addition of two key positions, as the Club today announced the hiring of seasoned sports executives Chris Kamke and Kelly Hyne. The pair have recently begun their tenures, with Kamke joining the organization as Chief Strategy Officer, while Hyne has been named SVP of Brand Alliances, both filling newly-created positions for the Club.
“A little over a year ago when the Wilf Family purchased our clubs, they immediately made a commitment to building a world-class organization, on and off the pitch. In order to do that we need to recruit, develop, and retain world-class talent,” said Jarrod Dillon, president of business operations for Orlando City and Orlando Pride. “In adding two industry respected leaders in Chris Kamke and Kelly Hyne, as well as a number of recent promotions and new position investments, we have taken massive steps in assembling a world-class executive team and front office.”
A leader in the business intelligence space, Kamke will be responsible for leading the Club’s strategy and analytics; ticket operations, sales and service; suite sales and service; and overall organizational business planning. Alongside the senior leadership team, Kamke will also be charged with expanding and increasing revenue-generation projects for both the teams and Exploria Stadium, the 25,500 seat venue in the heart of downtown Orlando.
Kamke joins the Club following 11 years with Vinik Sports Group, where he most recently served as the organization’s VP of Strategy and Analytics, primarily with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League and Amalie Arena. Throughout his tenure with VSG, Kamke had a hand in every area of revenue generation, overseeing strategy, analytics and ticketing operations while also working hand-in-hand with the partnership and brand departments to maximize impact and end result.
Under Kamke’s leadership, the Lightning saw consistent ticket revenue growth, 275+ consecutive sellouts, the longest in the NHL, and ranked top 5 in paid tickets over the last six seasons.
The Strategy and Analytics Department at VSG was a brainchild for Kamke, as he created and managed the department which ultimately served as an in-house strategy and analytics consultant for all of the organization’s departments. With Orlando City, Pride and Exploria Stadium, he will oversee the development of a similar department, responsible for the hiring and creation of a new business intelligence unit.
A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Master’s program, Kamke also had prior stints at Professional Bull Riders, UCF and the Tindall Corporation.
“I’d like to thank Jarrod Dillon and the rest of the leadership team for this opportunity. I’m extremely excited to join the Orlando City and Orlando Pride organization and to have the opportunity to build and grow the sport of soccer in the United States,” Kamke said. “Orlando is an incredible soccer market, with amazing fans, and I’m very excited to continue growing our organization into one of premier clubs in both MLS and the NWSL.”
Hyne, who was named to Sports Business Journal’s Game Changer Class of 2016, will lead the Club’s Brand Alliances team, formerly Corporate Partnerships, to build and establish symbiotic relationships between the Club and its stakeholders, while also looking to add new partners to the Club’s network. In addition to overseeing the Club’s partnership strategy, sales and activations, Hyne’s leadership role will also focus on building event opportunities for Exploria Stadium.
Hyne comes to the Club following 28 years in professional golf where she held numerous roles. Most recently, Hyne was the Chief Sales Officer for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), leading the partnership, business development, research, merchandise & licensing activities for the past eight years. In this position, Hyne was responsible for managing the LPGA’s corporate partnership portfolio, which included multiple Fortune 500 companies, seeing partnership revenue double under her guidance. A champion for women’s sports, Hyne’s leadership led to the player prize funding growing from $45M to over $90M, while delivering nine new event title partners.
During her 21 year tenure at the LPGA, Hyne served as SVP of Strategic Partnerships and oversaw the creation of the LPGA Properties division for owned events and served as Executive Director of The Solheim Cup, creating several events including the now Cognizant Founders Cup, CME Group Tour Championship and International Crown.
"I couldn't be more excited to start the next professional chapter of my career with Orlando City, Orlando Pride and Exploria Stadium," said Hyne. "Having been a resident of Central Florida for many years, I've always been a fan of the clubs and now I look forward to working with the team to enhance and create meaningful partnerships to help further connect our fans and grow the business."
Hyne was hired following a national, comprehensive and inclusive search process by industry-leading executive search firm, TurnkeyZRG.
The announcement of Kamke and Hyne come in conjunction with additional moves and investments into the City and Pride front office, with the Club announcing 12 internal promotions at the midyear, including the recent appointments of Pedro Araujo to Chief Marketing Officer, Jessica West to VP of Facilities Operations and Marcos Peres to VP of Communications and Digital.
“In addition to the many promotions of our current teammates, we are in the process of hiring another 20-plus roles across the company to deepen and develop our team,” Dillon added.
“The future of Orlando City and Orlando Pride is bright and I couldn’t be more excited to help lead us into the next chapter of the clubs.”