Aberdeen and Atlanta United have jointly announced a strategic partnership that is aimed at ‘boosting football and commercial operations for both clubs’, while also seeing the MLS side’s parent company invest substantial capital into the Scottish team.
AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) owns 2018 MLS champions Atlanta and is investing £2m into Aberdeen as part of a new package of investment totalling £5m. That money will provide ‘working capital’ for Aberdeen’s ‘day to day operations’.
The partnership will also see Atlanta president Darren Eales join Aberdeen’s board of directors, while AMBSE will take a minority stake in the Scottish Premiership club. Atlanta-based former Pittodrie chief executive Dave Cormack, who returned to Aberdeen as a major shareholder in 2017, will formally be appointed new Dons chairman at next month’s club AGM.
Aside from the financial benefits for Aberdeen, Atlanta hope to extend their global reach and scouting network. The clubs will also be able to share knowledge and experience, and collaborate on player and youth development, fan experience and venue best practices.
“This collaboration between our clubs will deliver economies of scale by aligning both clubs on key football and business operation best practice,” Cormack said.
“It will include shared agreement on worldwide player identification, assessment, recruitment and development. For example, we will be able to tap into their impressive scouting network across South America and, in return, we can assist them with identifying and assessing players in Europe.”
Off the pitch, Atlanta are noted for being an MLS leader when it comes to attendances, season ticket sales and fan engagement.
“We will be looking to learn from their experience, taking what works in Scotland, and applying it to improve our relationship with fans, create better match day experiences and develop potential sponsorships and other commercial initiatives that will generate revenues,” Cormack added.
Englishman Eales commented, “We’re excited about what we can, together, achieve through a shared approach to football and commercial operations.
“This will be centred around mutual respect for AFC’s heritage and long footballing history and Atlanta’s innovation and progressive strategy. Together, we believe we can make an impact on supporting and driving both clubs and the wider game on both sides of the Atlantic.”