Nike sells USL to Atlanta-based consortium
NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC, a current franchisee of the United Soccer League with a Premier Development League operation in Atlanta, has purchased the United Soccer Leagues from Nike.
Headed by renowned real estate developer Rob Hoskins and former NASL player Alec Papadakis, NuRock Soccer Holdings is a part of a larger organization known as the NuRock Companies -- of which Hoskins is the founder.
"We are delighted to close this transaction with NIKE and begin a partnership with Nike's leading football brands which will sponsor and support USL, and all of its leagues, for many years to come," said Papadakis in a press release. "Together with USL Management, we are excited about the opportunity to grow the size and visibility of USL, and to help develop and train the future generations of soccer athletes in the United States."
Nike will remain as an exclusive sponsor of USL, but the move to a new owner has USL founder and president Francisco Marcos excited for the future.
"This is really the best of both worlds for USL," said Marcos. "We have new ownership that will focus solely on developing and growing the leagues, and Umbro and Nike Soccer join us as sponsors to support our franchise owners, teams and athletes."
Hoskins also seemed hopeful of a bright future for the leagues.
"Our vision for USL is to become the most competitive and profitable pyramid of soccer leagues in North America, while providing affordable family entertainment and serving as the inspirational destination for professional and amateur youth soccer players in the U.S," he said.
USL has six leagues in North America and comprises the largest elite level soccer operation in the U.S. with divisions ranging from elite amateur divisions all the way up to USL-1, which is considered the U.S.' second division of professional soccer.
Some USL organizations have moved recently to be a part of Major League Soccer, including Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. Seattle is now part of MLS, with the other two set to join in the coming years.