Yesterday was a really good and full day for CPWS and me. Started off with a breakfast meeting at the wonderful "View" restaurant in Bridgeview with Chicago Gaels Head Coach John Nikchevich and our lead candidate for the CPWS General Manager position. I had never met John before and really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on women's and girls soccer and coaching in general. He comes from a non-traditional soccer background and incorporates many ideas from more mainstream American sports into his coaching and soccer philosophies. i look forward to working with John and the Gaels to promote women's soccer together in Chicagoland.
Next i went to Toyota Park to give a tour to our GM candidate. We made the requisite visits to the lockerrooms, player tunnel with the Section 8 touchstone and "Tradition, Honor, Passion" sign donated by Section 8 (that's the favorite part of the tour for me), training facilities, Illinois Soccer Wall of Fame and history display, suites, club lounge and offices. i was also able to introduce her to Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek, TP GM Dan Garnett, Fire GM John Guppy and many of the staff from the team's PR, ticket sales, community relations, operations, customer service and administrative departments.
After a quick bite at Beefy's for lunch, i made it downtown for a conference call with our legal counsel Jack Cummins and board member Gary Weaver to review final changes to the team's operating agreement. That was followed by a League Marketing Committee call to review and discuss PR, brand and marketing strategies for the next couple months. I chair that committee and it will keep me extra busy during the launch phase of the League. We have a really good committee, which includes the Boston Breakers' marketing whiz Karin Piscitelli. Karin is taking the lead on several of the League's marketing initiatives until the League office staffs up in the new year.
That call was followed by a quick signature of my CPWS employment agreement (Yay, i'm official!) and then i was out the door to Durty Nellie's Pub in Palatine for dinner with my old friend Bret Hall. Bret was a tenacious defender indoors and outdoors for the Chicago Sting and has coached successfully with the Chicago Sockers, Stingers, SMU and the USWNT. Bret played for me with the Chicago Power from 1990 to 1994 and coached the Chicago Fire Reserves when Mark Boyle started that team with some help from the Fire. i have always respected Bret, his work and his values. We talked about old times and new times. Our new GM will handle our head coach search and if Bret is interested (Bret says he really doesn't know at this point), i am sure he would receive serious consideration.
After dinner, i headed home to Wisconsin and got on a call with the designer of the League's logo. We moved the League's brand process along considerably in the last two weeks and expect to have decisions on name and logo made internally before the holidays, but will likely wait until after the holidays for any public announcements.
Another day in the wonderful world of women's pro soccer...