The Making of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami
Choice of Name, Logo and Colours
The club revealed its identity, including name, colours, and logo, on September 5, 2018, in what will be a day fans and supporters will always remember. Here is a recap of that day: Name Day – September 5, 2018
Establishing the Front Office
Chief Business Officer
Jurgen Mainka Ruiz was named Inter Miami CF’s first Chief Business Officer on September 20, 2018.
As the head of commercial at Inter Miami CF, Jurgen Mainka is in charge of all team and stadium business, and all operations of the club not involving fútbol. This includes administration, marketing, communications, sponsorship, ticket sales and stadium operations, according to an Inter Miami release on the news.
A native of Mexico, Mainka arrived at Inter after almost six years with CONCACAF, during which he served as Deputy General Secretary and Chief Commercial Officer for the last three years. Jurgen also brings Major League Soccer experience, having worked previously as Vice President of Communications and Community Relations for the New York Red Bulls. He also worked in the past with the New England Revolution.
Mainka will oversee team and stadium business and manage all non-soccer operations aspects of the club, which includes administration, marketing, communications, sponsorship, ticket sales and stadium operations, according to an Inter Miami release on the news. “Inter Miami’s ownership group is excited to work with Jurgen in building the business side of our club,” co-owner Jorge Mas said in a team statement. “Jurgen brings with him expertise in sponsor relationships and the enthusiasm needed to deliver a great fan experience that will benefit our community.”
“It is an honor to be able to contribute to this exciting soccer project in one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world,” Mainka, said in the statement.
“I’m looking forward to working with Jorge and the ownership group as we build a global franchise that represents Miami, MLS and its fans both in the USA and abroad, making our community proud on and off the field.”Jurgen Mainka
Mainka was one of many persons who appeared before the City of Miami commission in July 2018 to support Miami Freedom Park, the location of Inter’s new stadium in the Grapeland community of the City of Miami.
Establishing The Departments
For the past year, Inter Miami CF has slowly begun the task of building the club’s front office; the executives who are overseeing the task of creating a new club, new identity and having it all coalesce in time for the inaugural season in March 2020.
Jorge Mas wants to bring in people who share the club’s vision have the same passion as the ownership for the opportunity at hand. “When you have a blank canvas, it is extremely important that we bring in people that share our vision and who have experience, but also share the same enthusiasm that we have for this opportunity,” Mas said.
In addition to Jurgen Mainka and Paul McDonough, the club hired Dennis Sprenkle, who had previously served as the Director of Human Resources at Orlando City SC, as Vice President in the same department.
Reporting directly to Chief Business Officer Jurgen Mainka, Inter Miami CF hired Jean Manuel Jimenez as its vice president of digital, content & broadcast; Jacklyne Ramos as its vice president of communications; Erik Rask as its vice president of commercial partnerships; Rob Zuer as its vice president of ticket sales and services; Roy A. Tewell, III as its senior director of ticket sales; Chris Allan as its vice president of community engagement, and Gabriela Otto as its director of brand and marketing.
Keeping with the concept of challenging the status quo, the hires made by Inter Miami have a mixture of experience and specific skills; some have worked previously in MLS or elsewhere in soccer, while others are new to working for a professional soccer club or have never worked in the sports business before.
Juan Manuel Jimenez serves as Vice President of Content, Digital and Broadcast after serving as chief commercial officer of sports streaming startup OZ, recently told Front Office Sports in an interview that he was really attracted by the idea of being on the ground floor of what the club is aiming to be. This same sentiment is echoed among the other members office.
“I’ve been involved in many different companies, from startups to very successful long-term ones, and I’ve had a chance to see my work be represented globally, but it didn’t have a local impact,” Jimenez said. “If you look at the history of some of the most famous clubs around the world from Arsenal to Barcelona to Club America, these are things that have become part of the fabric and a building block of their communities that will last hundreds of years long after any of us are alive – to be able to build something that not only is a soccer club, or has a new stadium or gives people a destination but is a new vertical in the community that provides people belonging and a purpose? The opportunity is incredible.”
Jurgen Mainka says his goal is to create an environment where people can bring their best of what they have to offer and grow with the club, bringing it “to that next frontier.”