Cindy Spera: “We have to look at different markets and see where we want to penetrate and where we want to grow.” (Scott A. Miller/NPSL.com)
By Michael Lewis
When you’re the managing director of any league, there’s plenty on your plate.
And you don’t have to remind Cindy Spera, who assumed the role with the National Premier Soccer League last week, about that.
There’s expansion to consider, sponsorships and getting the word out to the media. And of course, there’s the day-to-day operation of the league.
“We definitely have to take to really pay attention to expansion, what markets we want to be in, how we do that more proactively and strategically, and not reactively,” Spera said. “We have so many requests every week for teams that are interested in the NPSL for a variety of reasons.
“We have to look at different markets and see where we want to penetrate and where we want to grow. Do you want to penetrate where you want to grow, or do you want to remain and at least be solid? That’s definitely something that we’re thinking about.”
The Northport, N.Y. native realized the league can’t get too ahead of itself as it can’t forget the daily operations.
“You can never take your eye off just the day to day operation,” she said. “So that’s something especially right now, in this transition period, for the short term, we really have to keep our eye on to make sure with 100 teams, multiple games a week, I think we’re close to 700 — everything has to happen for every one of those games. Like referees have to show up to every single game. You can’t drop the ball on that.
“I think there’s probably some potential with sponsorships. That’s always so much more difficult that what people realize. But the good news is that I have a very, very good staff.”
Spera then rattled off the names of four directors — Gary Moody (media relations), Dina Case (director of membership development), Robin Shacket (director of operations) and Paul Scott (director of officials).
“I couldn’t do anything unless I had a strong staff,” she said. “I feel fortunate to have really good people on the staff right now who are ready to step up and take on more responsibility.”