ORLANDO, Fla. - January 14, 2016 – Orlando City SC headlines Major League Soccer’s (MLS) year-end 2015 Club and Executive Awards with four recognitions, the league announced today.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team we have in place,” said Chief Executive Officer Alex Leitao. “We take pride in bringing on the right people who understand our culture and can be big contributors to our success. Congratulations to everyone for their great work, and I know we will be even more successful this season.”
Teresa Tatlonghari, vice president of marketing, was awarded the Marketing Executive of the Year, after leading Orlando City’s cultural identity and global brand direction from the USL days through the inaugural MLS campaign in 2015. Under her leadership, the club launched the Operation #FillTheBowl marketing campaign, aiming to ignite excitement and sell out the club’s MLS debut at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
Chris Gallagher, the senior vice president of ticket sales, was awarded the MLS Ticket Sales Executive of the Year. Gallagher played a pivotal role in leading the Lions to set a league record for an expansion team, drawing an average of 32,847 fans per home game. His team led the Lions to becoming the fastest team in MLS history to host a half million fans.
Former Lion and Orlando City Alumni Association member, Erik Ustruck, was also recognized with the Team Administrator of Year by Sportscorp Travel for his tireless work managing the first team. His efforts, along with those of fellow brother and colleague Kurt Ustruck, have been an integral part in bringing together a group of strangers and helping them become a team with as few distractions as possible. Ustruck began his collegiate soccer career at Santa Clara, and was later drafted by and a member of the 2007 MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo. He was signed by Orlando City in 2011 and played with the USL-PRO team for three record-setting seasons.
Orlando City’s Publix Tailgate was also recognized for the Partnership Marketing Activation of the Year. Led by Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Rob Parker, the team worked closely with Publix to develop a program that effectively engaged fans and enhanced their game day experience.
The Orlando City ticket sales department also received several league accolades at a separate event Wednesday evening in Baltimore. Orlando City’s Group Sales Department led by Senior Director Kristin Helmick, led the league in group sales. Hannah Linton, an account executive on Helmick’s team, emerged as the highest selling group sales representative in MLS. Other executives recognized include Harold Preciado, Danny Quesada, Julian Andrade and Blair Thomas.