November 10, 2016
Breakers add to front office
The Boston Breakers have named Mark Thomas president of business operations and Lee Billiard president of soccer operations and development, the team announced Thursday.
Thomas will oversee day-to-day business operations of the Breakers organization. Responsibilities include sales, marketing, sponsorship and management of business operations. Thomas will work on building off the current platform with a view to continue its growth financially and expanding the Breakers brand.
Thomas, head of business development for Norwich City Football Club (2013-2014), worked for nine years at Octagon Sports Marketing, beginning as senior sales manager and ending as vice president of business development. Thomas has worked in professional sport for more than 25 years, beginning as a player with Wimbledon FC in the English Premier League. He has provided several companies and sports organizations with consultancy in creating and selling sponsorship packages, plus training and developing sales teams.
"I am privileged and excited to become a member of the Boston Breakers, and I look forward to driving success off of the field,” Thomas said in a release. “Having attended a few games last season and listening to Matt Beard and Lee Billiard’s plans for the 2017 season, there are certainly reasons for optimism moving forward."
Billiard will be involved in managing the pro team roster, working directly with Beard on roster development, scouting and trade deals, plus maintaining previous soccer roles of overseeing the salary cap, facilities and day-to-day operations. Billiard has been among the major factors in building the Breakers organization. Billiard will oversee soccer operations from the pro team to the Boston Breakers Academy and Development Training Centers.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to focus solely on soccer and be more involved, along with being excited to welcome Mark to the organization,” Billiard said. “Breaking up the previous role to two people who can now each give 100 percent to their own individual roles will only benefit us on and off the field. I have been working with Matt the past couple of months on the roster and trades. It has been a lot of hard work, but fun, and I believe Matt and I have a very good working relationship. We both trust each others’ opinions, and we both share the same views of the standards we want to bring to the field, not only for the pro team, but also from everything we operate on the soccer side below the pro team.”
Billiard worked as academy director for Mass Premier Soccer, joined the Breakers as sales director in 2011 and replaced Andrew Crossley as general manager in 2012.
Billiard has helped create the Breakers soccer development pyramid, which features a reserve team, college team, under-20 team and more than 70 youth academy teams, along with community camps and clinics in more than 20 towns.
Co-managing partners John Power and Michael Stoller released the following statement: "As we move forward in building the Boston Breakers, we are delighted to bring in Mark to the club and expand the management of the club. We feel strongly that this split of responsibilities between business operations and the soccer operations will see immediate results on the field as well as in the business. Under Lee’s leadership, we achieved tremendous growth in attendance last year, in fact leading the league on that measure, and we expect Mark to drive the attendance and fan experience even further this coming year."