Chicago Fire: Top 3 best options for club president

Chicago Fire (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chicago Fire (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Fire
Chicago Fire (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Mike Ernst

My final and most interesting choice for the Chicago Fire’s club president comes from within the club: Senior Vice President of Sales and Revenue, Mike Ernst. To anyone who doesn’t have a very close relationship with the club, this isn’t out of left field, it’s out of the camera well on the third base foul line. But to those who know who this man is, this is almost a no-brainer.

Ernst has led a quiet career in marketing and sales, joining the club in 2009 after previously working in sports with the Seattle Supersonics. He’s been involved in ticket sales, corporate sales, marketing, and operations in his time with the Fire and has even had to be a bit of a PR rep at times.

While the club’s been abysmal on the pitch, it’s been his job to try to sell that product to the Chicago area and he somehow found a way to succeed in that. From all reports from within the club, he’s been integral in the club’s high-quality operations on game day and the unbelievable ticket sales considering the team on the pitch.

Above all though, Mike Ernst is loved by most of the long-time supporters. As I stated earlier, a club president isn’t a soccer-facing role, it’s a supporter-facing role. It’s the business side combined with the marketing and relationship-building to a fan base.

Ernst shows up to the Section 8 tailgate before every game to hang out and greet the most loyal supporters, he shows up behind the section throughout the game to watch along when he doesn’t have any immediate work to do mid-game, and he personally says goodbye to fans leaving the stadium every game. To many, he is the one friendly face of the Chicago Fire’s front office.

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In promoting Mike Ernst to club president, Joe Mansueto would not only show to other employees of the club that he rewards both hard work and loyalty to the club, but also show to fans that the club’s tenants of “Tradition, Honor, and Passion” are still very much alive. Especially Tradition and Honor. And what’s more Chicago than showing loyalty to your people and hiring from within?