Advertising executive hopes to put Phoenix, Scottsdale on pro soccer map

kyle eng[1]

Kyle Eng

Mike Sunnucks
Senior Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal


Kyle Eng wasn’t a soccer guy growing up in Southern California, but he aspires to make Phoenix into a full-fledged soccer town.

Eng owns the Arizona United Soccer Club minor league team as well as Arrowhead Advertising in Peoria. The ad firm counts Hyundai and Nationwide Vision among its clients.

He bought a soccer team franchise rights last year after another minor league team, the Phoenix FC Wolves, folded.

He said he didn’t want the Valley to lose out on a soccer team that might grow into something bigger.

“I’m a community guy,” Eng said during a lunch interview in Phoenix.

Arizona United plays in the 24-team United Soccer League. The team is moving its home field to Scottsdale Stadium in Old Town this season after playing a year at the Peoria Sports Complex. Phoenix FC played for a year in Tempe before folding.

The team has its home opener April 25 against a minor league squad of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers.

Eng said Scottsdale Stadium, which is the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, will be configured to hold 6,800 fans. He said 4,700 tickets have been sold to the home opener.

“We’re expecting a full house,” he said.

The advertising executive said moving to Scottsdale will help Arizona United draw more fans from the East Valley and Scottsdale’s younger demographics. He said Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has bought 1,000 tickets to United games.

Eng also has signed up Dignity Health and Nationwide Vision as uniform sponsors, and Adidas is making the squad’s uniforms.

Eng said he is looking for a permanent, soccer-specific stadium that could be expanded. He hopes to find a central location to attract young adult fans who have driven Major League Soccer’s popularity in Seattle, Portland and other cities. Men 18 to 49 top Eng’s list of target demographics, though he wants to cultivate fans in the Valley’s Hispanic community and among the estimated 32,000 youth soccer players in the state.

Mike Sunnucks writes about residential and commercial real estate, government, law, sports business and workplace issues.

Article source: