Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid have appointed Dave Hopkinson as their new head of business operations.
The 47-year-old is set to leave his chief commercial officer role at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), owners of the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors and Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC amongst other sports properties, within the next month.
During his time at MLSE, Hopkinson played a key role in the negotiation of the CAN$800m naming rights deal with Scotiabank for the soon-to-be-renamed Air Canada Centre.
Tim Leiweke, MLSE’s former president and chief executive, said: “Seldom in your life do you run across someone as bright, vibrant, energetic and entrepreneurial as [Hopkinson]. He has a personality that doesn’t just light up a room. He can set a room on fire.
“Real Madrid is as big a brand as there is in our industry. Normally you’d have a hard time finding someone who could make it better. They just did.”
Hopkinson began his MLSE career with the Raptor before moving up to become one of the ownership group’s top dealmakers. He was also crucial in the rebranding of the Raptors whilst chief commercial officer at MLSE.
Real Madrid are one of the most profitable and recognised sporting brands in the world, with Deloitte’s figures for 2017 showing that only Manchester United generated more revenue.
The club have just appointed Julien Lopetegui, the former manager of Spain’s national soccer team, as the team’s new boss after the resignation of Zinedine Zidane.