Red Bulls announce return of De Grandpre as Head of Commercial Operations

IMAGE, ESPNFC.COM

IMAGE, ESPNFC.COM

He’s back.

Marc De Grandpre,
who served as the New York Red Bulls’ interim General Manager in 2006 and remained with the club through 2008, has returned to shore up the club’s business interests. New York have named him Head of Commercial Operations following the departure of former General Manager, Jerome De Bontin.

As some will recall, De Grandpre was the first person at the helm of Red Bull after the purchase of the Metrostars organization. He took the job with no background in the sporting industry, but with a heavy knowledge of energy drinks, serving as Red Bull Marketing Director for six years prior to his move.

His interim role as a general manager morphed into a more comfortable role as a managing director once he hired Bruce Arena, with emphasis — of course — on marketing. His plan relied heavily on incorporating the team advertising with the promotion of the energy drink itself. His role in this aspect drew the ire of Red Bull fans who sought an independence from their ownership in matters of team promotion.

He was also blamed for a rocky start for the franchise, as the rough transition from Metrostars to Red Bulls saw the team initially drop numbers at the gate while incurring major financial losses in it’s first year. Looking back, it may not have been such a cut and dry fault in the midst of a poorly handled ownership transition.

Nevertheless, De Grandpre does bring with him a knowledge of the Red Bull way of doing business, and will join Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh in leading the club.