Owner and Chairman, Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Chairman, Andell, Inc.
Andrew Hauptman became the owner and chairman of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club in 2007 with the vision for the Fire to become the premier club in Major League Soccer, embodying the spirit and diversity of the city of Chicago and the sport. Over the past six years, he has invested significant resources and set a course to build the Fire into a world-class organization, both on and off the pitch.
Hauptman brings a passion for winning to an increasingly competitive league. The Fire made the playoffs in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. In 2012, the club posted its best home record at Toyota Park (13-3-3) and its best regular season record in 12 years. In 2013, the Fire finished with the best record in the league from June through the end of the season during which the club saw its best attendance.
Hauptman’s commitment to the development of the Fire and MLS, and his global sports experience are evident in the club’s strategic initiatives, partnerships and philanthropic efforts. He secured the Fire’s first jersey partnership in 2008, and its current jersey partner, the iconic, Chicago-based brand, Quaker Oats. Under his ownership the Fire has achieved record growth in season ticket holders and corporate partnerships. Hauptman also further enhanced the match day experience with the creation of the Second Star Club, the Fire’s premier, all-inclusive club at Toyota Park.
Under Hauptman’s tenure, he has recruited top management and soccer talent; bringing two-time MLS Cup winner and two-time MLS Coach of the Year Frank Yallop on board as head coach and Director of Soccer in 2013. He’s recruited local talent back to Chicago, such as reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee in 2013 and U.S. soccer star Brian McBride in 2008; fan favorite Chris Rolfe in 2012, and original Fire legend C.J. Brown as an assistant coach in 2013. Hauptman also presided over the induction of two legendary Fire players, Chris Armas and C.J. Brown, into the Ring of Fire.
Hauptman orchestrated the largest attended international club friendly at Soldier Field, when the Fire took on Manchester United in front of a sold-out crowd of 61,308 in July 2011. He has established a global network of club relationships and continues to develop strategic partnerships with top sides outside of MLS, including “A Team for the World,” the Fire’s unique strategic alliance with Atletico de Madrid and nine other clubs around the globe. As a part of this relationship, several Fire players have been welcomed by Atletico de Madrid to train with their team during off-seasons. Hauptman forged a partnership with Mexican side Club America, which yielded international matches at Toyota Park and the arrival of two-time Mexican World Cup veteran and Club America standout Pavel Pardo to the club in 2011.
Hauptman invested in the groundbreaking expansion of the Fire’s youth and player development program and it’s elite Fire Academy. In just five years, these programs of the Club have dramatically increased the number of youth players from 400 to more than 10,000 across six states. During this period, the Academy has consistently ranked among the top five in the nation. The club’s U16 Academy became the first MLS Academy side to win a USSFDA National Championship. In 2014, the Academy also became the first MLS and U.S. youth program to participate along with the likes of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the prestigious Al Kass International Cup in Doha, Qatar. The Academy system has also cultivated professional athletes, amongst them homegrown players like Harrison Shipp, the 2013 NCAA College Cup champion and ACC Player of the Year. More players from the Fire’s youth and PDL program have been selected in the MLS SuperDraft than from any other club.
Off the pitch, Hauptman announced plans for the multi-million dollar Chicago Fire Soccer Center in the heart of the city of Chicago, scheduled to open in late 2014. The 140,000-square-foot center will include two regulation size turf soccer fields and the first air-supported dome within Chicago’s city limits, further deepening connections with the city’s youth and recreational soccer communities.
Hauptman also collaborates with Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association of the Chicago Fire. He championed the Chicago Fire Soccer Club Supporters’ Charter, a first-of-its-kind document in North American sports that establishes a covenant of respect, an understanding of expectations, and a mutual commitment to open and honest communications.
Hauptman formed the Chicago Fire Soccer Club Advisory Council, which allows the club to work closely and effectively with area businesses, community leaders and nonprofit organizations. He has expanded the Chicago Fire Foundation, the club’s charitable arm. To date, the Foundation has provided over $1.5 million in grants, contributions and in-kind support. In 2013, the Chicago Tribune listed the Foundation’s newest annual event, The White Party, as one of Chicago’s top parties of the year. In 2013, the “Kicks for Kids” program enabled over 7,000 disadvantaged youths to attend a Chicago Fire game at Toyota Park. In 2011, the Hauptman Family Foundation and the Fire partnered with the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation and the Chicago Park District for the “Take the Fields” initiative, to build a new public soccer field on Chicago’s Southside community. In partnership with World Sport Chicago, the Foundation further extended its reach in Chicagoland with the launch of the new pilot project, P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer). The P.L.A.Y.S. Program is designed to not only enhance the academic performance of elementary school students, but also promote the development of key social and emotional skills through a sports-based curriculum. In its inaugural year, the P.L.A.Y.S. Program served 256 third through fifth grade students at eight Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) schools across Chicago.
Hauptman is the chairman of Andell, Inc., a private investment firm and family office that he controls with his wife, Mrs. Ellen Bronfman Hauptman. Andell's activities are divided between direct investments in public and private companies and partnerships with top-tier investment managers around the globe. Mr. Hauptman oversees the firm’s investment, operating, sports, real estate and media businesses.
In addition to being owner and chairman of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Hauptman has served on the League’s Board of Governors as well as various MLS Committees, including the Competition committee, Media & Marketing committee and Product & Player Development Strategy committee. He also serves as chairman of Storage Mobility, the nation’s largest franchisee of Portable On Demand Storage (PODS). He has served as a director of numerous public and private companies including BSN SPORTS, Dick Clark Productions, Koor Industries, Loews Cineplex and Canyon Ranch Holdings, amongst others.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Hauptman worked as an executive with Universal Studios in London and played a key role in the oversight of its international operations, focusing primarily on the music and filmed entertainment groups. He also worked in restructuring and mergers and acquisitions with Alex. Brown & Sons in New York.
Mr. Hauptman has previously produced feature films through his production company Andell Entertainment, with credits including “State of Play,” starring Russell Crowe and “Millions,” directed by Danny Boyle.
In addition to this work, Mr. Hauptman is deeply involved in several philanthropic and civic organizations. He serves as a national trustee of City Year, an education-focused nonprofit that combats the dropout epidemic, and is co-founder and chairman of City Year Los Angeles. He also serves as director of The Hauptman Family Foundation and co-founder and trustee of The Charles Bronfman Prize. He is on the board of the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, the Yale University Council, the Leadership Council of International Medical Corps, and is honorary chairman of the Chicago Fire Foundation. Mr. Hauptman also serves on the Leadership Council of the Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute, an initiative which aims to create large-scale civilian national service in the United States. In addition, he participates in several business organizations, including the Bel Air and Aspen chapters of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Mr. Hauptman holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.