STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Recognized as one of the most forward-thinking leaders in sports today, Robb Heineman is the CEO of Sporting Club, the parent organization of the Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City, and one of the team’s five principal owners. Heineman also serves as managing partner of Sporting Innovations, a technology company focused on innovation in sports and entertainment.
After becoming the organization’s CEO in 2006, Heineman worked with several local municipalities to build a soccer-specific stadium for Sporting Kansas City. In January 2010, the Kansas Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the plan for the 18,467-seat Sporting Park. The project drew nationwide acclaim, and was ranked the eighth largest economic development deal in North America for 2010 by corporate real estate magazine Site Selection.
Since then, Heineman has been instrumental in creating partnerships with worldwide leaders in a wide range of sectors. The spring of 2011 saw Sporting Club announce historical partnerships with the likes of Panasonic, Sprint, Cisco and Google, enabling Sporting Park to serve as a living lab for sports and entertainment technology.
Heineman also has been at the forefront of the creation of the Sporting Club Network, a groundbreaking membership model that has transformed the way a professional sports team connects with affiliates throughout the region. Known for his openness and accessibility to fans, Heineman has put a special emphasis on the power of social media, frequently making use of Twitter to communicate with the club’s supporters.
His vision for the growth of Sporting Kansas City and soccer in the Midwest has led the team and the sport’s local impact to new heights. Heineman’s commitment to delivering marquee matches for Kansas City has helped secure many of the sport’s most important games at Sporting Park, such as the 2013 MLS All-Star Game on July 31 and the U.S. Men’s National Team’s final home game in FIFA World Cup Qualifying in October.
How to reach: Sporting Club, www.sportingkc.com