ATLANTA — The Atlanta Silverbacks have announced the promotion of Andy Smith to general manager of the Silverbacks men's professional team. Smith will be in charge of all sales, marketing and operations of the team, effective immediately.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to serve as the Silverbacks’ new general manager,” Smith said. “I look forward to building upon the strong foundation here in Atlanta, and I’m committed to growing this organization.”
After getting his start in corporate sales with the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Smith has served as either the director or vice president of sales for the following organizations: Charleston Battery (USL), D.C. United (MLS), FC Dallas/Pizza Hut Park (MLS), FC Tampa Bay (NASL). As the VP of sales at FC Dallas, Smith helped grow the team’s revenue by 300 percent during his three-year tenure. Before joining the Silverbacks, Smith was the interim general manager of fellow NASL team FC Edmonton.
Smith joined the Silverbacks in February as the organization’s interim director of sales and marketing. With the position, he was charged with rebuilding the Silverbacks’ sales and marketing departments. Under Smith’s guidance, the sales and marketing team have already achieved three sellout crowds in 2012.
“I'm very pleased that Andy has accepted the role of general manager of the Silverbacks men's professional team,” said Chairman Boris Jerkunica. “Attracting someone like Andy, who has had such a successful career in MLS, proves how far the Silverbacks organization has come, so I'm very much looking forward to the future with him in charge.”
The organization also announced Monday that Michael Oki tendered his resignation as Silverbacks president last week. Oki made his decision to part ways with the Silverbacks after working with the club in various capacities since 2003. During his time as business manager, director of development and operations, park director and president, the organization experienced tremendous growth, including the construction of Atlanta Silverbacks Park, the purchase of the Silverbacks Suwanee Indoor facility, and the development of a women’s semi-professional team and men’s reserve team.
“It’s an emotional day for me as I leave the Silverbacks organization after 8 years,” Oki said. “I’m extremely proud of how much we have grown during my time here, and I’ve been thrilled to see us become such a pillar in the soccer community, but due to some recent changes in the organization’s operations, I felt it was best for me to step away and pursue other opportunities.”
In addition to Oki’s accomplishments listed above, he played an integral role in the Silverbacks’ return to the Atlanta professional sports scene, helping facilitate the team’s move to the new North American Soccer League in 2011.
“Michael joined the Silverbacks at the age of 22 and worked his way up to president, so a lot of what you see today is due to his dedication and effort," said Jerkunica. "We will miss Michael and we wish him the best as he enters a new stage in his career.”