Andy Appleby, owner of General Sports and Entertainment Group (GSE) and vice chairman of AstroTurf, will be unveiled today as part of the latest foreign consortium to take charge of a Premier League club, this time Derby County, according to The Daily Mirror newspaper.
General Sports and Entertainment was founded in 1998 by Appleby. He went on to create and launch General Sports Venue (GSV), which is best known for being the exclusive marketing partner for the AstroTurf brand. GSV is a sports facility and turf specialty company based in Rochester, Michigan.
In addition to being chairman of GSV, Appleby has been a managing member of the Fort Wayne Wizards Minor Baseball Team since 1999. He’s also a board member of the Detroit Metro Sports Commission. GSV has built the largest indoor soccer community in the United States in Pontiac, Michigan, which has two FIFA-compliant international pitches under one roof using AstroTurf. His company has also been involved in building soccer projects in Owensboro, Kentucky and Kentwood, Michigan.
GSE is managing the investments of several members of the U.S. consortium that is purchasing the club. Appleby will be joined by Tom Glick, who will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Derby County. Glick was formerly the Chief Marketing Officer for the New Jersey Nets of the NBA. Also joining Derby’s corporate team is new Executive Vice President Tim Hinchey, who was previously vice president with the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA.
“We are excited about the opportunity to make a significant impact at Derby County with our collective sports industry knowledge of best practices in management, sales and marketing,” said Appleby on Derby’s web site. “We have visited Derby County over the last six months and experienced a match day at Pride Park Stadium, where we were impressed with the incredible potential of the club and the loyalty of the fan-base.”
Don’t expect Pride Park to be turned into the latest AstroTurf experiment anytime soon. Derby County will make an official announcement regarding GSE at a 2pm GMT press conference today.