Fire Add To Front Office

In a press release this morning the Fire announced the hiring of Atul Khosla as Senior Vice President overseeing all club operations, finance, and technology.  Here is the release:

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that it has named Atul Khosla Senior Vice President of the Chicago Fire. Khosla will oversee all aspects of the Fire’s operations, finance and technology and lead the club’s strategic initiatives.

“We are thrilled to have Atul join the Chicago Fire Soccer Club as our new Senior Vice President,” said Fire President Julian Posada. “Over the past 9 months, we have invested in building our team, and bringing Atul on-board is a key step in solidifying our senior management staff. Atul’s wealth of cross-functional business expertise will be essential as we aggressively look to grow the club in the years ahead.”

Khosla joins the Fire from Alli Sports, an action sports entertainment and media company, and a subsidiary of NBC Sports, where he served as the Vice President of Commercial and Business Operations from 2007-2011. Prior to joining Alli Sports, Khosla spent his entire career with GE, within the multinational conglomerate’s Healthcare division. Over the course of his 12-yr career, Khosla has held positions in Operations, Finance, Marketing, Digital & Media, and Business Development.

Khosla holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Chicago with his wife Charisse, and their 20-month-old daughter Ayra.

I'm not sure what duties his "cross functional business expertise" will enable him to complete but his background suggests an involvement in sports media.  He may want to start with finding a radio partner that would increase the team's visibility and ability to reach current and potential fans through direct and honest communication in a medium other than Facebook, Twitter, and the official web site.  Besides winning, one sure way to grow interest in the team is to talk about what's going on.

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  • What time the injury report comes out?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Usually around 7pm on Tuesdays

  • come on, the fire don't like to talk about whats going on. its all a secret.

  • New rumor, Paul Bravo to coach the Impact.
    Maybe Jesse Marsch will still be available.
    depending on U.S. soccer coaching decisions.

  • Can I ask why no one ever seems to investigate what the management's plans are for the Fire? I don't mean an interview with the communications person, I mean talking to individuals with and formerly of the team. Asking serious questions.

    I see DC has it with Steven Goff, but no one does it here, not even national media outlets. It is one reason there is no buzz about the Fire, ever.

  • In reply to Krasny:

    Fair question but DC's general manager Dave Kasper and President Kevin Payne are readily available and willing to answer those questions because they're trying to gain support for a new stadium while doing anything they can to win over public opinion for spending the $. That being said, the Fire's entire front office does make themselves available to fans in an open forum at the beginning of every season allowing fans to ask them any question they'd like to hear answered. Unfortunately the discussion doesn't continue into the season since that's not an easy thing to do on a regular basis.
    It's also unfortunate that the local media coverage of the Fire quite frankly...sucks.

    I've seen some suggestions that Hauptman's silence or lack of public statement regarding the brutality of this season is a sign of indifference, while I don't necessarily agree with that I think it's important that he make himself more visible publicly as he did when he spoke after DLC's ouster.
    http://www.chicagonow.com/fire-confidential/2011/06/hauptman-remains-optimistic-about-2011/

    One part of the problem with having someone from the front office as a public spokesman is the lack of consistency over the last few years in that position. Dave Greeley wasn't here long before being replaced by Julian Posada as team president. If Posada isn't the guy answering those questions then he should be. As Technical Director Frank Klopas seemed to assume that role but he can't do that now as the coach.

    Either way, you're right Krasov. Those difficult questions and answers need to be heard and there really isn't an existing venue for fans to ask those questions other than through social media and sites like Fire Confidential or Big Soccer. That is a shame and something that needs to change immediately in order to establish the buzz you're talking about.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    While all that is true, that's not really what I'm getting at.

    People like you can do something, get more whether the management gives it to you or not. Public forums are well and good, but just because the Fire wants to control everything that is said doesn't mean there isn't anything to write about.

    I do not think Hauptman or Klopas have it in for the Fire at all. But they are making questionable moves, hence they should be questioned. I know there are people of substance out there who (while perhaps not on record, or by their name) take issue with these choices.

  • In reply to Krasny:

    Duly noted.....believe me there's no lack of wanting to get more but Fire Confidential is fairly limited in time and resources at the moment to really do this up the way I ultimately think it should be done. Working on it though.....

    I'm sure there are individuals out there with valid opinions about the how and the why's of what's going on but as you say yourself, those individuals have also got to be willing to state as much on the record in a public forum.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I do believe the team does have it's own website. Wouldn't be hard to establish a page that would accomplish this. Put a provision to push out updates to facebook et al and Voila, communication. Wouldn't cost anything extra, maybe sell ad space on the page and make some money in the process.

    Wait, it might get held up waiting to sell the right advertising space just like the jersey sponsor...

    Anyway, why should any attempt at communicating with the customers be made, the record speaks for itself and there are no empty seats for home matches. All is well! At least at the beginning of the season anyway...

  • This dude won a trip to the North Pole....here he is with a Fire flag in the cold.......

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2011/08/fire-fan-wins-trip-north-pole

  • Honeslty the team is a disaster and they are announcing a position that has nothing to do with improving the product that they are trying to sell. Please realize that the only thing that will make the team viable is to name a new coach and technical director for the coming year. One would have to be an idiot to believe that the rest of the season is anything but worthless games that will mean nothing to the overall season. Maybe if they start some of the talent that they have on the reserve team it will create some interest for next season. To tell you how bad the season is going I am having difficulty giving the tickets away to customers. We do not have that problem with the Bulls Bears or the Hawks. Come on Hauptman either sell the team or put in qualified people to run the organization. Chicago is a wonderful sports town that would support the Fire if they were even half good.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    i'm totally shocked that people aren't dying to get take those free tickets of yours to go watch a team that's won 2 games out of 22 played ;)

    that said, i'll take 'em :)

  • Not that this is pertinent here, but I thought I'd post it anyways........

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2011/08/09/league-announces-fixture-dates-2011-mls-cup-playoffs

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Crickets...

  • "Besides winning, one sure way to grow interest in the team is to talk about what's going on."

    This is a fact. I wasn't nearly the fan I am now until Luis' Red Card came out and I had a good way to follow and connect to the team. The Fire would be in a lot more trouble if they didn't have people like Guillermo doing their marketing and press for them.

  • In reply to Drew:

    I was also a fan of Luis' Red Card (including the wrestling and other non soccer silliness). His decision to cover celebrity parties led to the eventual creation of Fire Confidential at ChicagoNow. Thanks Luis. ;)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I agree. Handsome fellow with the English cap and scarf. Never bothered to read into the nightlife, but all his insight to the Fire were also from a better time. The management musings were interesting, but it was a good thing that chaos didn't transfer over to the pitch very often. Never did like AEG, but they were the bosses, not Guppy and Wilt. That was some good drama. Now Guillermo is stuck with this crappy version of the Fire.

  • In reply to waam:

    Good years or bad years there are still interesting angles to write about. It's just easier and more entertaining to do when the team is actually good. Traffic and interest also increase when they're succesful.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    luis>sam>guillermo...a good line up, hope you can keep it up. wish we'd see luis and sam post on here sometimes instead of forgetting about all of us now that they've moved on :)

  • Jesse Marsch has been announced as the head coach of the Montral Impact.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Can you find out for us, if we were ever even considering Jesse?

  • In reply to waam:

    I'll see what I can find out.

  • Now is the time to get rid of Klopas who should be in the Hall of Blame for the teams poor performance. Get rid of Julian Posada "Mr. Nada" he hasn't done anything positive for the team. Even Van Couver has a shirt sponsor the Fire under Posada does not. Tired of all "The Lame Excuses" If things dont change right away the fire will have Fewer Ticket Holders Next Year than the have this year. How sad this situation is under Julian Posada.

  • GR I would like to hear the Announcement that the Fire let Posada and Klopas go. Bring Peter Wilt back to rebuild the Fire Organization and Team.
    While there are still Chicago Fire Fans left.

  • We want Wilt! We want Wilt!
    The problem is does Wilt want to work under the current administration and ownership.Too bad about missing out on Marsch,
    don't know how highly the Fire valued him but based on the past 2 years the Fire's ability to judge coaches is worse than their judging talent.
    The only upside on talent was getting Oduro, deal was a steal,
    much better than Carr had been and signing Orr. Without these
    additions, it'll would have been a total bust.
    If we can't get Wilt, maybe we can get CJ as coach.

  • Richard Deitsch: BREAKING: MLS & NBC Sports have agreed on a 3-year deal, starting in 2012. NBC will have 45 MLS games & four US national team games.

    Huge! I guess they did the Vrs deal. Seems like a good fit, NHL and MLS don't overlap alot.

  • Don't know if anyone else has this problem but when I'm at the office, all I have to do is click on the "Reply" button and MS Internet Explorer crashes.

    I just wanted to say that I'm not the most knowledgeable guy about the sport of soccer. I don't think I'm fit to run this or any other team. But I can see pretty clearly that the management of the Chicago Fire is desparately trying this and that without any sense of direction. I'm not trying to comment on the new hire. I don't know him from Adam. Maybe he'll be good. But I've lost hope after watching the endless disaster that has been the last 2 years.

    There comes a point where a fan has to decide whether to continue to support what's going on or withdraw support with the hope that such action will lead to a complete turnover in control to someone (anyone!) who can actually run a franchise.

    As I said before, I don't know the new guy from Adam, but I already anticipate something bad. It's a learned response...

  • Charlie Corr did ask Klopas about the FIre's coaching search after training today......

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/fire/post/_/id/1815/marsch-named-impact-head-coach

    The issue apparently is not being addressed yet.

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