Phoenix Rising FC board of directors and its newest owner and member, from left: Co-Owner and Director Tim Riester, Co-Owner and Co-Chairman Brett Johnson, Co-Owner and Governor Berke Bakay, Co-Owner and Director Alex Zheng, Co-Owner and Director Mark Detmer, Co-Owner and Director William Kraus.
Advantage Sports Union joins Phoenix Rising ownership group
Phoenix Rising Football Club announced the addition of Advantage Sports Union Ltd. to its ownership group. Advantage Sports Union is a world-class sports company focused on soccer. Its Chairman is a significant investor of French Premier Ligue 1 professional soccer team OGC Nice, who qualified in 2017/2018 for participation in the Champions League.
Advantage Sports Union Chairman Alex Zheng is a highly respected global entrepreneur who successfully created one of the largest hotel chains in Asia, the Plateno Group. His legacy of building 3,000 hotels in 10 years with over 300,000 rooms has set the industry standard for the global hospitality industry. Alex Zheng hopes to expand the tourism industry in sports especially in soccer. Zheng will bring his hospitality and tourism expertise, international soccer knowledge and business acumen to Phoenix Rising FC as its newest owner and director of the Club’s governing board.
“We were fortunate and flattered to meet with a number of impressive investors who have interest in Phoenix Rising FC, but Alex Zheng was exceptional,” said Berke Bakay, governor of Phoenix Rising FC. “His amazing knowledge, experience and intellect were only exceeded by his incredible personality and passion for our sport. My partners and I were unanimous in our desire to add Advantage Sports Union to our ownership and Alex to Phoenix Rising FC’s leadership.”
In addition to its relationship with OGC Nice and ownership of Phoenix Rising FC, Advantage Sports Union is currently building an international youth soccer academy in China and marketing club alliances throughout Asia.
“Phoenix Rising FC has wonderful potential,” said Alex Zheng, Chairman of Advantage Sports Union. “Soccer fans throughout Arizona and across the United States are embracing the team after only its first year, and its soccer operations are very impressive. I am confident we can assist the Club with its MLS aspirations and create an unprecedented pathway from youth soccer to the highest levels of international competition with Arizona as the North American hub. Personally, I have a deep connection with Phoenix, a wonderful place where my daughter was born. To partner with Phoenix Rising FC along with all of its great owners is not just a business deal, it’s personal for me as well.”