National Women’s Soccer League club NJ/NY Gotham FC has tapped former Division 1 soccer player Andrea Pagnanelli as chief business officer, the club announced Jan. 13.
Pagnanelli joins General Manager Yael Averbuch West and Assistant General Manager Stephanie Lee on Gotham FC’s business team.
Over 15 years, Pagnanelli has held roles in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, and at Relevant Sports. She was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2015 and was honored as a “Woman of Influence” by the New York Business Journal.
“As a former soccer player, it’s an honor to join the Gotham FC family and I’m thankful to ownership for placing their trust in me,” Pagnanelli said in a prepared statement. “It’s an exciting time to join the club. All the tools are in place for continued, exponential growth. I am beyond excited to help this team reach its maximum potential in the New Jersey and New York markets.”
Prior to joining Gotham FC, Pagnanelli focused on growing soccer’s popularity domestically and internationally with MLS’ Los Angeles Football Club and Relevent Sports. She served as the executive vice president of venue and event strategy at LAFC, overseeing all events including concerts, festivals, sporting events, and conferences at Banc of California Stadium. At Relevent Sports, she was responsible for all activities related to the annual marketing plan, brand strategy, ticketing, social media, sponsorship activation, and digital execution for the International Champions Cup.
“Andrea is an absolute rock star with a resume that speaks for itself,” said Club Vice Chair Ed Nalbandian in a prepared statement. “She’s extraordinarily well-versed in the business of soccer and has an incredible drive and passion for growing the game. She’ll be an invaluable addition to our organization and I’m excited to welcome her to the family.”
She began her career with the Phoenix Suns before accepting a front office position with the New York Jets. Pagnanelli became the Jets’ group sales manager when she was 23 years-old, making her the youngest head of group sales in the NFL. She started her own company LeapSeats in 2012, which provided an in-venue seat upgrade app for fans. She’s currently on the board of the Super Soccer Foundation and on the advisory board for Fan Compass.
Kristin Bernert, interim head of business operations for Gotham FC, led the search as part of the talent recruitment arm of KB2 Sports, which will continue to partner closely with Gotham FC as an advisor.