Kathy Carter will be leaving her role as president of Soccer United Marketing, MLS, whose owners back the organization, announced on Monday.
Carter, who ran for U.S. Soccer president but fell short behind Carlos Cordeiro, was on a leave of absence during the election campaign. She returned to her role after the Feb. 10 vote, but her last day will be on April 13.
“I would like to thank Kathy on behalf of our owners, clubs and staff for the significant contributions she has made to the sport of soccer in the U.S. and Canada while at SUM and MLS,” MLS Commissioner and SUM CEO Don Garber said in a statement. “Kathy played a critical role in the development of our league and the growth of soccer in North America for many years. Her energy, leadership and strong relationships helped establish SUM as one of the leading commercial soccer companies in the world. We wish her the best of luck in the next chapter in her career.”
SUM oversees the commercial marketing arm of soccer in the United States, and its role working with the U.S. Soccer Federation has been a point of contention in some circles, who see it as a conflict of interest given the overlap its board has within MLS.
It has also played a vital role in helping supply U.S. Soccer with the $150 million surplus it currently has. SUM was formed in 2002 by the owners of MLS to monetize licensing, media, sponsorship and marketing rights. Carter, who has spent decades working in American soccer and was MLS's first VP of corporate marketing, became president of SUM in 2010 when she took the reins from Doug Quinn.
“My time with Soccer United Marketing and Major League Soccer has been deeply meaningful – building and expanding the game has been my profession and my passion,” said Carter. “I’m grateful for the life-long friendships I’ve made and the support I’ve received from the Commissioner, MLS Business Ventures President Gary Stevenson and all of my colleagues at the league, and look forward to seeing MLS continue its incredible growth. I will remain a huge supporter of MLS and U.S. Soccer and will be cheering loudly from the stands for our clubs and players.”