D.C. United announced today that Erick Thohir and Jason Levien have joined Will Chang as co-owners of the operating rights to D.C. United of Major League Soccer (MLS). Thohir and Levien will serve as Managing Partners of the club. Chang has been involved with the ownership of D.C. United since being a part of a group to purchase the club January 8, 2007. He assumed a full ownership stake May 21, 2009.
"I'm proud to introduce Erick and Jason as my partners. I believe that I've found the perfect people to team with, and I am excited about the future of D.C. United,” said Chang.
Thohir, an entrepreneur based in Indonesia, is co-founder of the Mahaka Group, which focuses on media and entertainment holdings, including television, radio, internet, newspaper and sports properties. In sports, Thohir has led the recent efforts to bring the Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan to compete against the Indonesian National Team, serves as a co-owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, and is the founder of the ASEAN Basketball League, the first regional professional sports league of its kind. He also serves as the Vice President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and as its Chief of Mission for the 2012 Olympic Games."The opportunity to partner with Will and Jason brings exciting possibilities,” said Thohir. "D.C. United is a club with great tradition and history of winning. I am looking forward to helping with the continued development of D.C. United both on and off he field as well as expanding its reach as a global brand.”
Levien is the president and founder of LSRI, a firm specializing in investments in sports and media properties. He is co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers. Previously, Levien was a prominent player-agent and attorney, representing players, coaches, teams, leagues, and sports and media executives. He also spent two seasons as an executive with the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
Levien, who attended Georgetown University, worked at the Williams & Connolly law firm in Washington, D.C. and lived in the D.C. area for a decade. He also served as a law clerk based in Maryland to the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and as an adjunct professor at the University of California Berkeley Law School.
"In partnering with Will, we are committed to ensuring the growth of D.C. United,” Levien said. "Our supporters deserve our very best effort and they'll get exactly that.”
D.C. United President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Payne and all other front office staff will continue to run the day-to-day business of the team.
Chang was advised by Steve Horowitz and Jon Tetirick of Inner Circle Sports on the transaction.
PHOTO GALLERY from the event