Dynamo president Chris Canetti signs contract extension

Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti has signed a contract extension, it was announced today.

Canetti enters his 14th season in Major League Soccer and 21st season in sports business in 2013. He joined the Dynamo in May 2006 as the club’s Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to Dynamo President in 2010. He oversees all aspects of the Dynamo business, including sales, marketing, communications, broadcasting, operations, team administration, and youth development.

“Under Chris’ leadership, the Dynamo have not only achieved some of the most successful seasons (on and off the pitch) in MLS history, they have truly been a model franchise for all of professional sports,” said Tim Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG, managing partners, Houston Dynamo.  “While waiting years to open one of the great soccer stadiums, Chris continued to set records for attendance and revenue and now, with BBVA Compass Stadium, we have no doubt that with Chris guiding the organization, the best is yet to come for the Houston Dynamo franchise and their fans.”

The Dynamo organization completed a tremendous season under Canetti in 2012, including the successful opening of BBVA Compass Stadium, monumental business growth and continued success on the field, capturing its fourth conference championship in seven seasons.

Leiweke continued: “On behalf of Oscar De La Hoya, Gabriel Brener and Phil Anschutz, we could not be more pleased to ensure that Chris will remain with the Dynamo for years to come.”

Recent success for the organization includes the construction of BBVA Compass Stadium in just 462 days; a 10-year, $23 million stadium naming rights deal with BBVA Compass Bank; eight founding partnerships on multi-year deals worth more than $7 million; and a 71 percent increase in sponsorship revenues in 2012. In addition, the Dynamo season ticket base grew by 112 percent in 2012, to 12,000 full-season tickets. The club achieved ten sellouts and sold 95 percent of all seat inventory in its first year at the stadium.

“I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to continue to lead this great club into what is a very bright future,” said Canetti. “I love coming to work every day and am committed to helping the Dynamo achieve the highest levels of success. I’d like to thank our ownership group for its confidence in me and for all of the support they have given over the years.”

The Dynamo ranked among the top five of Major League Soccer clubs across three key sales categories in 2012, including average attendance, season ticket base, and sponsorship revenue. The club also entered a multiyear partnership with Comcast SportsNet Houston to broadcast the majority of Dynamo games and continued a partnership with KPRC, Houston’s NBC affiliate, to broadcast six games in 2013 on the over-the-air network.

In January 2013, the Dynamo signed a three-year radio partnership with Gow Media, providing the club with tremendous radio coverage across two Houston sports stations – 1560 AM and ESPN 97.5 FM – completing the most comprehensive broadcast platform in club history.

Canetti was named to Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list of influential sports executives in 2010. He was also honored with the league’s Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year award, Major League Soccer’s top executive honor in 2008.

Prior to joining the Dynamo, Canetti served as the Assistant General Manager for the New York Red Bulls. He joined the New York organization in 2000 and served various roles, including Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations.