Detroit City FC has hired Donovan Powell as General Manager, the first full-time position in the history of the organization.
Powell was hired in early February to create stability and growth for a club that already ranks among the National Premier Soccer League’s most-recognized teams. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, but he’s made lasting and special connections with the state of Michigan.
After graduating from Clay High School in 2001, Powell became a member of the United States Marine Corps. He was first stationed in Mt. Pleasant, MI before heading to Iraq in 2005 where he became a sergeant when Operation Iraqi Freedom was in its beginning stages.
Upon returning to the U.S., Powell pursued a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Business at Bowling Green State University before obtaining a master’s in Sports Management at Drexel University.
He’s worked for USA Football, which is the official development partner of the NFL, the NFLPA, and all 32 NFL teams. His main responsibility included running camps for high school players to make that next step to playing collegiately. In nearly two years, Powell managed teams of interns and staff, while increasing brand awareness and generating revenue for the organization. Less than a year ago, Powell received a job with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, where he worked as a Sales Representative to increase season ticket sales and build relationships with local business owners.
Instead of accepting a promotion with the Blue Jackets, he pursued the chance to come back to Detroit and work with its rapidly growing soccer community.
His upcoming duties for DCFC include: hiring an intern base and overseeing the group, increasing ticket sales; in the 2013 season home games averaged over 1,800 people, developing marketing and brand awareness strategies, executing game day operations, garnering sponsorships, and working with media. As the new General Manager, he hopes to make more of an impact on the city, alongside what he’ll be accomplishing with the club.
“One of our slogans here is ‘Passion for our city, passion for the game,’” Powell said. “One of my most important missions is to really deliver on that message. To have this whole soccer community rally around the city, I take that very seriously. I’m going to do everything in my power to build on what the team ownership has started.”