TAMPA, Fla. – The 2017 Premier Development League Winter Summit kicks off with the Executive Committee Meeting this evening in Tampa, Florida.
More than 120 franchise executives are set to attend meetings on ticket sales and activation, video and streaming production, digital sponsorship best practices, game day activation and much more over the next three days.
Speaking at the event will be USL Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis, President Jake Edwards and guest speakers. Papadakis and Edwards will deliver the State of the League address to open proceedings in earnest on Friday.
The new PDL Golden Scarf Awards Program presented by Ruffneck Scarves will take place on Saturday. The awards will serve to honor the PDL franchises that exceled in creativity, promotion and marketing during the 2017 PDL season. The program gives clubs opportunities to share best practices and earn additional recognition for outstanding effort.
The 2017 PDL regular season had 72 teams compete in four conferences across the United States and Canada. The Charlotte Eagles won their first PDL title in August, defeating the Thunder Bay Chill, 2-1, in Matthews, North Carolina.
For 23 years, the PDL has served as a major development platform for players in North America. More than 550 PDL alums took part in the 2017 Major League Soccer and United Soccer League regular seasons. Among the PDL alumni include 2017 MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara, 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia and U.S. Men’s National Team members Brad Guzan, Sacha Kljestan and Darlington Nagbe.
Sixteen PDL franchises, including Nashville SC U23, Orange County SC U23, New York Red Bulls U23 and OKC Energy U23, are owned and operated by an MLS or USL club, or hold a partnership with an MLS or USL club.