CEO & Operating Partner
A native of Passaic, New Jersey, Nick Sakiewicz (pronounced Suh-kev-itch) grew up playing on pitches and playgrounds of the North Jersey working-class town. A first generation American, he acquired his soccer education playing in the diverse ethnic clubs throughout the Northeast. Now, 17 years after joining Major League Soccer as a founding executive, Sakiewicz is the CEO & Operating Partner of Keystone Sports and Entertainment LLC, the parent company of Philadelphia Union. His dedication and expertise led to the founding of the Union and construction of PPL Park, a picturesque, soccer-specific stadium on the banks of the Delaware River in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Sakiewicz brought an expansion team to a region hungry for soccer. Sakiewicz leads with principles of inclusiveness, passion and authenticity. He has quickly helped the Union build an international reputation, playing against world-powerhouses such as Manchester United and Real Madrid. Key partnerships formed in the club's first two years include stadium-naming rights partner PPL Energy Plus and jersey sponsor Bimbo Bakeries USA. Frequently filled with capacity crowds, PPL Park has been recognized with numerous awards including Best of Main Line Today and ACE Project of the Year. Rounding out 2011, Philadelphia Union was named Delco Sports Figure of the Year by The Delaware County Daily Times.
Prior to helping to create Keystone Sports and Entertainment LLC, Sakiewicz enjoyed a diverse and successful business career in manufacturing, retail, real estate and financial services, in addition to sports management. Sakiewicz was the President of AEG New York, responsible for operating AEG’s sports, entertainment and real estate assets, including the development and construction of Red Bull Arena, a new, state-of-the-art stadium and mixed-use development in Harrison, New Jersey. Among his successes with AEG was his role in the record-setting $100-million sale of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars to Red Bull Energy Drink Company of Austria.
From 2000-2005 Sakiewicz was President and GM of the MetroStars, where he overhauled the organization, resulting in the MetroStars capturing the MLS Eastern Division title. The team made the MLS Cup Playoffs four out of five seasons under the leadership of Sakiewicz. During his tenure there, the club increased corporate sponsorship revenues more than 500% and grew attendance every season — despite not owning its own stadium.
A two-time MLS Executive of the Year, Sakiewicz garnered his first award in 1999 as President and General Manager of the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Working with some of the biggest names in the sport (Tim Howard, Clint Mathis, Steve Ralston, Eddie Gaven, Tab Ramos and Carlos Valderamma), Sakiewicz has a history of recognizing, signing and developing young talent. That trend has continued, with the Union fielding a team filled with rising young stars, many of whom are routinely called up to national team duties. Sakiewicz has also helped the Union develop, in collaboration with YSC, a world-class, innovative academy program.
As a collegiate goalkeeper at the University of New Haven, Sakiewicz earned NCAA All-American honors in 1981 and All-New England honors each season from 1980-83. He is a member of the UNH Hall of Fame and still holds every major goalkeeping record at the school. He went on to play professionally with F.C. Nantes in the French First Division, the New York Arrows of Major Indoor Soccer League, and F.C. Beleneses of the Portuguese First Division. Sakiewicz retired from professional soccer after a season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the American Professional Soccer League.