Legends, the premium experiences company, has entered into a multi-year partnership with the ownership group behind the San Diego team that will make a 2025 debut in North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS).
Announced yesterday (June 5), the tie-up will focus on “delivering a first-class experience for fans and partners with Legends managing global partnerships, premium seating, and season ticket sales.”
In particular, the firm is set to work with the ownership group and chief executive Tom Penn to expand the club’s reach not only in the Californian city but also across the US, Mexico, and worldwide.
San Diego was awarded franchise rights in May to launch a 30th MLS team in 2025.
The expansion team was bought for a record $500 million by an investment group led by billionaire Mohamed Mansour, the founder and chair of UK-based investment firm Man Capital, and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, the first Native American tribe to have an ownership stake in US professional soccer, according to the MLS.
The ownership group also includes professional baseball player Manny Machado, who plays for Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, and Brad Termini, co-founder of real estate firm Zephyr Partners.
Experienced sports executive Penn has been named the new franchise’s chief executive having served as the president and co-owner of fellow MLS team Los Angeles Football Club until 2020.
Penn said: “Legends brings an incredible amount of sport and soccer expertise that will help us in our journey to build a successful club for San Diego and the legions of dedicated fans. Legends’ data-driven approach, coupled with the leadership and local market knowledge, will maximize our partnership opportunities and help create the best experience for fans.”
Shervin Mirhashemi, Legends’ chief executive, added: "We are proud to partner with San Diego MLS to help deliver an exceptional experience for San Diego soccer fans when the club takes the field at Snapdragon Stadium in less than two years.
“Our team has extensive experience working on sales campaigns, premium programs, and founding partner engagements with global soccer entities and in the Southern California market. We will deliver an experience that is unique to San Diego and positions the club for long-term, sustainable success.”
The as-yet-unnamed San Diego franchise will play at the 35,000-capacity Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego starting in the 2025 season.
When that arena was opened in August last year, Legends led commercial sales, such as premium ticketing, naming rights, and global partnerships, for the venue.
It also has experience in MLS, having partnered with the Columbus Crew and Los Angeles FC across both those teams’ stadiums.
In addition, Legends has a long-term retail experiences partnership in place with the US Soccer Federation.
The San Diego franchise will be the first to join MLS after St. Louis City, which started playing in the league at the start of the ongoing 2023 season.