Ghana FA President has hailed the impact of Togbe Afede XIV at Hearts of Oak revealing that the owner’s vision for the Ghanaian giants will catapult the Phobians into a model club in Africa.
Kwesi Nyantakyi says the huge investment Togbe Afede has made in recruiting the highly-experienced American CEO Mark Noonan is ample evidence of the traditional ruler’s desire for ‘setting up the best administrative structure for a football club in Ghana’.
The GFA hailed the start of the work on construction of the academy of Hearts of Oak as another evidence of the ace investment banker’s desire to transform the side along professional lines.
Nyantakyi made this prediction when the new CEO of the Accra-based side visited the GFA headquarters on Friday to acquaint himself with the operations of the federation.
Some members of the Executive Committee of the GFA as well as the General Secretary of the GFA were present when Noonan visited the headquarters to understand the operations of the federation.
Noonan comes to Hearts of Oak with a wealth of experience in football administration at the highest level having worked with the transforming in the marketing of the MLS in America.
The GFA President hailed the arrival of the first foreign CEO to be appointed by a Ghanaian club insisting the injection of knowledge and experience will greatly enhance the Ghana Premier League. @
“We are very happy to welcome you to work in football in Ghana. We are very proud that one of our clubs Hearts of Oak have taken an excellent decision to bring you to Ghana to work,” Nyantakyi said during the meeting on Friday.
“We want to build an important relationship with you as your knowledge, experience and contacts will be extremely beneficial not only to Hearts of Oak but to the entire Ghana football community.
“The experience you have by managing the business aspects of some of the biggest brands in football will surely impact positively on Hearts and our competitions here in Ghana.
Nyantakyi praised Togbe Afede for the decision to hire the man who has been credited for massively improving the profitability of the MLS when he was in charge of their marketing operations.
“I want to congratulate Togbe Afede for the top appointment he has made by bringing Noonan to Ghana. Hearts have the best and the most comprehensive administrative structure for a club in Ghana, the CAF Vice President, Nyantakyi said during the meeting.
“The plan to have facilities for the Hearts is highly laudable and Togbe is committed to such projects to make Hearts of Oak the model club in Africa.
“I know within one year you (Noonan) will make a huge impact at Accra Hearts of Oak.
“We want you to share your knowledge and experience with us and at the right time we will create the opportunity to do the same with all the clubs in Ghana,” Nyantakyi told Noonan.
The astute American football administrator did not hide his desire to share his knowledge with clubs in Ghana, praising the board of Hearts' decision to sign him.
“My first commitment to Hearts of Oak and I want to thank the board led by Togbe for the confidence in me. If I can be the greater good for our fellow clubs and the Ghana FA, my pleasure.” Noonan said.
Noonan joined Hearts of Oak from ASP from FocalSport, a sports marketing and media agency he founded and led since its inception in 2005.
Select FocalSport clients included the New York Mets and SNY where Noonan advised ownership on the landmark Citi Field naming rights and all seven signature partner agreements, FIBA – the world governing body of basketball, Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing (SUM), Brown-Forman, the USTA, USA TODAY Sports Media Group and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Prior to forming his agency Noonan was an Executive Vice President for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing, CMO of U.S. Soccer and Director of Integrated Marketing for the iconic sports beverage brand, Gatorade.
During his four-year tenure with MLS, Noonan headed the overall strategic marketing and branding for the League and its sister company, SUM.
He was also involved with the corporate sponsorship activities and broadcast initiatives as part of the MLS and SUM senior management teams.