SPARKS, Md. — Marc Riccio, an experienced sports, media and technology executive with strong ties to the sport has been named CEO of USA Lacrosse. Riccio was selected after a nationwide search done in partnership by the USA Lacrosse Board of Directors and Prodigy Search, a renowned nationwide leader in senior-level executive search.
“We set out to identify a leader who was an innovator and a connector, a critical thinker and a strategist, someone with integrity and deep passion for the mission of USA Lacrosse. We found that leader in Marc,” said Beth Lyman, chair of the USA Lacrosse Board of Directors. “Marc is a seasoned sports and media executive with a proven track record of revenue growth. We have every confidence he will lead the organization and game to new heights.”
“I’m looking forward to building off the foundation and tremendous momentum around USA Lacrosse,” said Riccio, a former lacrosse player at Hofstra University. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with early-stage and startup companies who approach their business and mission with new ideas and technologies. I believe we can benefit from that entrepreneurial mindset. We want to keep innovating with the goal of always growing the game and continually improving the experience for players, coaches, officials and parents”
Riccio replaces Steve Stenersen, the only CEO in the organization’s existence. Stenersen announced in April that he was stepping aside after leading the organization since its inception in 1998. Before that, Stenersen had served as the executive director of The Lacrosse Foundation.
“We are incredibly thankful to Steve Stenersen for his 30-plus years of service to the sport of lacrosse, building USA Lacrosse from the ground up,” Lyman said. “He leaves USA Lacrosse in exceptional financial shape, poised for an exciting new chapter. We are indebted to Steve for his leadership, commitment to the game, and success in bringing the organization to this position of strength.”
“Leading the ongoing development of USA Lacrosse and the sport over the years has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I know Marc feels the same way,” Stenersen said. “Marc’s career journey and passion for lacrosse combine to make him ideally suited for this role, and I look forward to seeing the positive changes and significant growth USA Lacrosse will achieve under his leadership.”
Riccio spent 17 years leading business operation and development for the NFL’s New York Jets before spending the last seven years working in roles focused on strategy, growth and organizational change for major sports brands and events.
In Riccio’s most recent position, he was the Chief Commercial Officer for KlarisIP, a boutique intellectual property and media consultancy. Riccio advised major sport and esports properties on strategy, growth, and organizational transformation. He worked on one of the largest esports sponsorship and marketing deals in history and guided sport and media companies on innovative fan engagement strategies like NFT’s (non-fungible tokens), content licensing, and new media platforms.
Prior to KlarisIP, Riccio operated his own consulting business where he guided global esports and video-game companies on mergers and acquisitions. His career included stops at Lagardère Sports (now Sportfive), a full-service global sports agency where he was the Executive Vice President of Commercial. Sportfive works with worldwide brands, leagues, confederations, and teams in sports that include but are not limited to soccer, American football, basketball, esports, Olympics, and more. The company focuses on commercializing intellectual property rights, brand consulting, business strategy, experiential marketing, live event production, talent representation, content creation, and media distribution.
With the Jets, Riccio’s responsibilities included all aspects of team and stadium business affairs and overall strategic planning. Riccio led teams responsible for corporate sales, new business development, partner management, merchandise, revenue strategy and monetization for the construction of MetLife Stadium. He also led special events, gameday experience, and multimedia production. During his tenure the Jets rose from a bottom quartile revenue generation team to one of the highest in the NFL.
After the Jets, Riccio developed and launched a startup with private equity investors, LXL Sports & Entertainment. LXL’s mission was to re-define business entertainment as an exclusive membership club. He rolled LXL into an experimental marketing and live event production company called Rooftop2 where he became President. Rooftop2 produced world class events and worked with clients like the NFL, Madison Square Garden, and FanDuel. He then led the sale of Rooftop2 to Lagardère Sports.
Before the Jets, Riccio was Director of Marketing and Development for Intercollegiate Athletics at Hofstra University. In his role at Hofstra, Marc achieved significant growth for the Pride Club where he served as the Executive Director leading fundraising efforts for the University’s athletic programs. Riccio also taught graduate and undergraduate sports management classes as an Associate Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University.
Riccio grew up in Canandaigua, N.Y., and was introduced to the sport when he was 12 years old by a neighbor. He went on to become the first high school All-American at Canandaigua Academy, where he played both football and lacrosse. He was later inducted into the Canandaigua Academy Sports Hall of Fame. At Hofstra, Riccio played lacrosse for current USA men’s national team head coach John Danowski.
Riccio is a member of the New York State Bar, has a Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law, and an M.B.A. in Marketing and a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University.
Riccio will begin his new duties on Aug. 24.
- USA Lacrosse